“You’re a really interesting person.” I remarked, recapping my pen with a click. Enora blushes, “Not really.” She replies. 17 Year Old Enora is the daughter of a Naval Officer. She was born in France, where she resided for the first 10 years of her life. She has since then lived in Italy and Malaysia and eventually moved to England. “I used to hate having to move, leaving friends behind. But now I understand how lucky I am.” She explains.
I ask her what she wants to do when she’s older, and she smiles “I’m applying to study political sciences at university, I want to work for an NGO, have a stable job and a family.” Where does a girl so young find the inspiration for such compassionate ambitions? Enora originally intended to forge a career in the hospitality industry, and so undertook a work experience placement at a hotel. They had an animal centre, with an enclosure for orang-utans, and one day, the hotel was visited by some children from a special needs school. Enora was also involved in the visit, this was when she decided she wanted to dedicate her career to helping the vulnerable.
She was further inspired when she took part in the model united nations. She was a member of the Arab Springs committee, and had the chance to discuss and contribute towards decisions concerning real life problems. “I realised that I really wanted to make a difference to peoples’ lives, to help those in need.”
We see such a negative portrayal of teenagers in the media, and so many are more than eager to live up to the stereotype. However; Enora is a prime example of a new generation, of more sensible, compassionate and ambitious teenager, even managing to swim competitively since the age of 10 despite all the moving around.
I ask her What’s the greatest adventure you want to go on? The answer is not something you could guess at. She thinks for some time, turning things over in her mind. “I would love to travel to Nepal, and live for a while with the people of the Himalayan mountains, it’s important to learn about other peoples’ point of view.”
So for all those Nay sayers, who keep bemoaning a selfish generation who are going to destroy the earth, the future is not so bleak. The media is crowded with the negative. Maybe it’s time to focus on the positive, to inspire younger generations? There will always be bad apples, but its teens like Enora who are going to make a real difference to the world. With their altruistic thoughts and philanthropic actions.
RAFT Research Assistant