By Jo Roddy, UK Treasurer
YEM UK’s Treasurer and youngest board member, Jo Roddy reflects on what it means to be a non-student, a pro-European and a YEMer.
So, I admit as an opening title it’s a weird one! Hopefully with a bit more explanation the title will become clear
I’m Jo Roddy, treasurer here at the Young European Movement. What makes me this rare young thoroughbred is that ‘ve only just turned 18 and am not a university student like most YEM and JEF members are.
A brief personal history is in order, I believe. I am an 18 year old sixth form student studying chemistry, biology and maths – very unlike the usual politics, history or languages studies of most of my fellow board members. I currently live in North Wales with a deep passion for politics and the EU and consider Guy Verhofstadt to be my idol.
I suppose by now you’re wondering how I ended up sat on the national board of such an organisation without any prior education, experience or background in the area?
It all started with an email from YEM UK. As is often the case with our newsletters, international travel opportunities were offered. Seeing a fully-funded trip to Styria in Austria, I snapped it up in a heartbeat, relishing the chance to represent an organisation that has a strong show in Europe and basically become a young ambassador for the UK within such a vast network of people is something that can never be refused.
One of my main roles as Treasurer (and youngest member of the YEM national board by a long shot) is to bring my positive energy and outlook of Europe. Another is to encourage the non-student Europhiles to get on board and convince them that – no matter their age or background – all voices are heard just as equally and with equal respect in YEM.
In reading this I hope I have persuaded that some younger, non-student and not(yet) Europhiles to join YEM and get involved with everything we have to offer. We are the future of YEM. We are what YEM will become so shout loud and shout proud!