Name? Nicole Zographou
Age? Gettin’ on… I’m 24
Where are you from? Best in the South West….Bristol!
What do you do? Currently I am unemployed, I graduated in International Development, now looking for work in Events management.
Any special hobbies/talents/interests?
I don’t know if anything I’m interested in is ‘special’ however I have a passion for cooking, literacy and poetry. I enjoy a challenge and love to fundraise, last year I was abseiling down an 185ft building and doing 3 miles in a wheelchair.
As a young person what is the worst and the best thing about living where you live?
One of the best things about Bristol, is that it has everything you need but hasn’t lost the friendly community feel other big cities have. Everyone knows each other and there is lots to offer a young person in terms of activities and learning. However the transport system is really poor. If you’re a young person who lives on the outskirts of the city buses are in frequent and very expensive. This is something that really needs to change.
If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be and why?
I think it would have to be Bermuda, a Caribbean paradise where everyone has a good standard of living, health care and a good wage. It could lack some entertainment but other islands are only moments away!
If you had to swap bodies with any historical/political figure, living or dead, who would it be and why?
That is such a difficult question because I have been inspired by so many people. However I tend to be inspired by women and recently I have wanted to swap places with Camila Batmanghelidjh the founder of Kid’s Company, which offers practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children. She started the ‘Hug a Hoodie campaign’, she is a psychotherapist by training and is a lady all politicians want to be photographed with a sassy personality. Or I go back as Margaret Thatcher and make some different decisions!!!
If you had to invite 3 people, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would they be?
I’d invite Will Smith, not only for the eye candy, but for his humour and intelligence (I’d like to straighten out these Scientology rumours too! Erykah Badu because she’s great and Amy Winehouse.
What is your favourite form of art? Do you find art to be relevant to society today?
Currently graffiti has to be my favourite form. It’s extremely current for today’s society. Since Banksy and other greats it has become a movement in society. From what was once prosecuted and looked down upon as being purposefully put on down trodden buildings, huge shows were created and this has made politicians’ heads turn. It has become a way young people can express themselves, a free form of protest and it has made people listen.
Are there any issues concerning young people that you feel are not getting enough attention?
Yes! There are many. We are kept being told how hard it’s going to be when were older, the problem with our pensions and future education. But what is actually being done about it? It’s all very confusing.
As a young person, what is your perception of the actions and values of the prominent politicians of your country? Do you feel there are many aspects of the current political life that need to be changed?
Quite honestly I think our politic situation is a sight for sore eyes. Politicians are so removed from young people and our reality. I mean some of them haven’t never even caught a bus. It’s so top down. Interactions I have seen from politicians to young people have made me cringe. I honestly think our society will crumble unless someone who has real experience comes into power. Or I think politicians need to do work experience, they should complete 2 years work experience in their sector. So if they are in health they should complete 2 years working in hospitals alongside nurses or PCT’s, then maybe some good financial decisions will then start being made.
Do you feel a person’s identity is defined by their nationality and culture? If so, why?
Well yes everyone’s genes and environment contribute to who they are and someone’s identity. I am British but my family are Greek Cypriot and my experiences of both of those things make me who I am. They are different, nationality is your legal state and can be changed. The term ‘culture’ refers to the language, beliefs, values and norms, customs, dress, diet, roles, knowledge and skills, and all the other things that people learn that make up the ‘way of life’ of any society. Culture is passed on through generation but new cultures can be learned through nationality.
If you could change any negative perception of young people today, what would it be?
Young people being on the ‘dole’ and abusing the benefits system by being lazy. The system has good intentions, however it traps people. Especially young mums; once coming off benefits and going on to minimum wage, taking in all costs of living and child care you barely earn anymore at all and it’s very difficult. There is a big misconception there especially with the elite and it’s very unfair. This would be helped with changes in the education system also.
What is your greatest achievement so far?
Leading a successful climate change project in Honduras as a team leader.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I hope to see myself with some savings, some career path, a home and smiling! I hope to keep good people around me and positivity.
Who or what inspires you?
Change inspires me. People who work hard to make good for themselves and for others.
What advice would you give to those wanting to volunteer or contribute to society in some way?
I would stress how important it is. I know when you need money, volunteering isn’t always appealing. However it gets you out and about, it motivates you and you learn new skills that eventually will get you into employment. It’s too rewarding, fun and worthwhile. It’s worked for me and all those around me, just choose what volunteering is right for you and do it.
How would you define happiness in a few words?
Defining happiness is not so easy – it’s very individual. For me it is to have good supportive people around you, good family and friends, it is the ability not to struggle financially or politically and the freedom to use your mind and body. Simply, I believe it to be it is to be without pain, to have choices and to have love.
Lastly describe yourself in three words.
I am going to answer honestly and not as I would in a job interview. I am self doubting, loyal and gregarious.