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Emily Taylor is the founder of Teenagers with Experience (TWE) which is an online organisation set up by teenagers, for teenagers. The website aims to connect teens with others who are experiencing similar challenges and allowing them to learn from one another. Emily likes to read, likes the colour pink and hopes to work with children and youth in the future. We were able to talk to Emily about TWE, coping strategies and her plans for the future.
Describe yourself in three words.
I would describe myself as self-empowered, friendly and excitable.
What is Teenagers With Experience and why did you start it?
Teenagers With Experience is an online, non-profit organisation I set up to create a safe and non-judgmental space for teenagers to seek help, learn new things and feel less alone about what they are going through. The website allows teenagers to see people go through similar things to them, which can allow teenagers to feel less alone and “abnormal”.
What has been the biggest shock about this process?
How much people of such a young age have been through. I have met so many teenagers because of TWE and each individual person has been through so much and most haven’t spoken about them before.
What is your best memory/ most memorable moment from this experience?
Because of Teenagers With Experience, I have had the chance to meet so many people within the TWE community and outside. I have met so many fantastic, influential and creative people who will make a change in the world, who will help people, who will make a difference and that is so rewarding to meet so many amazing people who push me to help make TWE better.
Unfortunately at the Ariana Grande concert where there was a terrorist attack in 2017. That is very traumatic, what did you cope/recover from that event? Do you think you ever fully recover from something like that?
I don’t think anyone could ever fully recover from that, but that’s okay. It was the worst night of my life, but it has also helped me learn, helped me grow and has provided me with some of the best and most supportive friends who also went through it. TWE and other people who attended really helped me get to the place I am now, the community and people I surround myself with have really supported me since the event.
You are a very busy person with school and the website. How do you take care of yourself when things are stressful?
Working on the website is actually quite relaxing for me. It is a comfortable space for not only our readers but also the team and myself. It is a wonderful community and it makes the work fun. We are a family and help each other, we have quiz nights within group chats and other games.
Are there ways for people to get involved? Are there volunteer opportunities at all?
We always love recruiting new volunteers, everyone deserves the chance to be able to share their experience, whether they join the team or help out as a guest. We have a page on our website with applications to apply to our website here.
Any words to live by?
I always try to put a positive spin on everything that happens to me, even the bad, because I know I can help at least one person by sharing that experience and how I coped. Everything has a silver lining, even when it doesn’t seem like it.
What’s next for you?
I hope that someday TWE can receive funding of some sort so we can reach out and help more people, and provide the experience of being a member of TWE to as many people as we can. To learn more about Emily and Teenagers with Experience check out their website.
Photo supplied by Emily Taylor