Deanna Stevens and Eva Pulvirenti are the Hills Shire’s Youth Ambassadors for 2023 and 2024, the latest two young people elected to represent the youth population of The Hills.
The Hills Shire Youth Ambassadors program has long been a wonderful opportunity for young people to lead their peers in The Hills: hear from Deanna and Eva as they share how they became Ambassadors, as well as what they hope to bring to their year-long roles.
Although she has extensive experience as Marian Catholic College’s Wellbeing Leader, life-time Hills resident Deanna was surprised to receive an email that she had made it as a finalist for the Youth Ambassador program. “I wasn’t aware my school nominated me until I received an email congratulating me for being a finalist and inviting me for an interview.”
Despite the surprise nomination, Deanna is greatly appreciative for the opportunity to represent The Hills. “Youth Ambassadors play a vital role in representing, empowering, advocating for and engaging with the youth. I am grateful for the opportunity and will strive to have a positive lasting impact on the lives of young people in our community.”
Deanna is eager to get started, and has a number of goals to fulfil in her time as Ambassador. “My goal is to challenge the social stigmas surrounding sensitive issues such as climate action, suicide prevention and inclusivity. To this end, I plan to educate youth and educators on fostering a welcoming environment that promotes diversity, equality and acceptance for individuals of all races, genders, sexualities, and abilities.”
Deanna told Hills to Hawkesbury Community News: “Young people in the Hills can get more involved with their community by exploring their passions and connecting with like-minded individuals. Whether that be through sports, band or the arts, there are so many opportunities for people to connect if they only look.”
Eva was inspired to apply for the role after seeing the work of the Hills Shire Council and previous Youth Ambassadors in assisting young people. “I have always been passionate about thinking about what I can do to contribute to my community in making it a safe, inclusive and rich community. I hope to use this space as a platform for young people in the Hills to express their ideas and concerns on issues that affect them.”
Having been an active member of the Hills Youth Army and an engaged student at Santa Sophia Catholic College, Eva knows firsthand how important it is for the young members of our community to have their say. “Given the opportunity, young people want to make a positive difference in their community, so it’s important to have roles like the Youth Ambassadors to encourage their participation in our community.”
While expressing her appreciation for her nomination to the position, Eva took the time to acknowledge the many people who applied to the Ambassador role. “There were many wonderful applicants and finalists who had outstanding commitment and involvement in The Hills Shire community. It’s so refreshing to see so many motivated young people that really care about what happens in their own backyard.”
Eva’s hopes that she can help make The Hills better for all of the youths of our community: “I feel greatly privileged to be picked for this role. I look forward to working with the finalists and youth of The Hills in advocating for our needs and ways we can continue to make our area a safe, engaging and connected place.”
Keep an eye out for Deanna and Eva in the community – they’ll be helping to organise events for young people and speaking at Council meetings to relay the thoughts of their peers.