Youth Time Magazine continues to introduce this year's Youth Time ambassadors. Meet our second ambassador — Ekaterina Kuznetsova.
The second Youth Time ambassador, Ekaterina Kuznetsova, who prefers to be called Kat, is a journalist who is currently based in Madrid, Spain. She has been living there for the past six years, however, this is not her first time moving and living abroad. At the age of 15 Kat won a FLEX scholarship to study in the US. She attended high school for a year in Florida and lived with a host family. That experience was life-changing for Kat, as she decided to take part in a competition, in which she won a scholarship to study in England. Kat did her A-levels in Torquay and then pursued her degree in broadcast journalism at Leeds University. After graduating from the university Kat worked with BBC and became a board member of the European Youth Press, a community that organizes conferences and events for young journalists. Kat got her Master’s degree at Yerevan State University and Minsk State University (a joint program financed by the European Commission). In 2014 she worked for NBC at Sochi Olympics and fell in love with the Olympic movement. Right now Kat is working as a journalist and producer, still traveling the world, and running her own Youtube channel.
When did you first hear about Youth Time?
I heard about YouthTime from the organization I used to work with, European Youth Press. Youth Time Magazine even became EYP’s board member. I went for my first Youth Time event in Hamburg back in 2015, followed by Jakarta and Dubai, and the rest is history.
Why did you decide to become a Youth Time ambassador?
I love to stay in the process of constant learning and this opportunity of circling back into youth activism fits me perfectly! I also have years of experience working in this field, as well as in journalism and social media – so I look forward to contributing all of it to the Youth Time movement. Plus, I can’t wait to meet other ambassadors – they sound like super interesting people to network and make friends with.
Now that you were chosen to be one of the ambassadors, what has changed in your life? What are you most excited about in this program?
I can’t determine exactly what has changed yet. The world has been moving quickly and it’s not been the same place since COVID started in 2020. So many people in this world went and still are going through life hardships. Becoming an ambassador of such a cool community as Youth Time puts a certain responsibility on me, yet excites me a lot at the same time. I hope my life will change in a positive way after I get to meet all the other ambassadors and create projects that help young people. That would be so cool.
What inspires you? Who are your role models?
I am inspired by people’s kindness every day. Despite the difficult times, as a journalist, I always look for examples of humanity and they sure exist.
As for people, it’s hard to pick one, so I would go with a few. My family inspires me a lot. They are always there by my side; they teach me a lot of important things every day and I am forever grateful to have my people with me.
I am inspired by female leaders and women who change the game in this male-dominated world. I would like to highlight Greta Thunberg, Elena Kostyuchenko, Malala, Oprah, Brene Brown, and Emma Watson. I am glad these women exist and aren’t afraid to speak up for what matters.
Is there an achievement or contribution you are most proud of?
This is the kind of question where I would normally get shy and rather ask my friends or colleagues. But okay, let me think.
Until 15 years old I loved staying at home and just being in my head. When people meet me now, they don’t believe I was like that, since I appear to be such an extrovert. I think I am most proud of being who I really am, accepting myself – I am extroverted often, but also a dreamer, in my own world of ideas and plans to fulfill in the future. I overcame the challenge of moving to a new country (at this point in my life I lived in six different countries) and built an amazing community of people around me in each of these countries. We often measure our life’s success by specific and even materialistic achievements, but I think my biggest achievement is all the people I can call my friends and with whom I connect.
And guess what, I still want to believe that my biggest achievement is yet to come. Stay tuned. 🙂
What was the biggest challenge you were facing and how did you solve it?
I remember I always wanted to start my vlog but was afraid of what other people would say about it. What if they hate it or disagree with what I have to say? It can be challenging to be subjected to public opinions but overcoming this fear and imposter syndrome that a lot of young people suffer from nowadays is the best feeling in the world. ‘Fake it till you make it’—there is a TED talk about that which I recommend everyone to watch. I solved my fear by asking myself, what is the worst thing that can happen? You’ll never know unless you try, as scary as it sounds it might also be rewarding and fun. I can confirm, that it was worth it. It is fun. And there is a lot of love too that I found.
What would you say to someone considering becoming a Youth Time ambassador next year?
I would encourage them to give it a try. I have applied to become a Youth Time ambassador three times before and my third one is a lucky charm. Don’t think if you didn’t get accepted at first, you did something wrong. There are some amazing young people out there – and that’s good news. They want to change the world as much as you do. We need youth activism and a proactive approach more than ever. Do it! Some opportunities come to us just at the right time when we don’t expect them AND sometimes when we are ready the most. If you have this idea in your head, it means it’s already worth giving it a go. You’ll be great.
Photo courtesy of Ekaterina Kuznetsova
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