I’m a young adult from the Canterbury Stake (Kent), and an aspiring architect, currently studying for my master’s degree. I am currently called as a member of the recently formed Europe Young Adult Advisory Council (EYAAC).
‘Rising Gen: Europe’ is a new broadcast series being made by young people in Europe, for young people in Europe. With Europe Area Seventies and the Church’s communications department, young people conceive and develop each episode, write the scripts, plan the interviews and film the out-of-studio segments across the Europe Area.
It happened because the Europe Area Presidency wanted to create a way for European youth, missionaries, young adults (married or single) and friends of the Church to become more connected to each other and inspired to live the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Irene Kabongo (my co-host) and I were both invited by Area Seventy Elder Alan Philips to accept the assignment to present Rising Gen: Europe. At that point I had been developing the broadcasts for a couple of months with my fellow members of the Europe Young Adult Advisory Council but didn’t expect to be asked. While a little daunted, I felt honoured and trusted, and excited to get to work on this programme.
Having never worked as an on-screen presenter, I had to learn a lot of new skills quickly on the job (camera awareness, speaking clearly, interview skills, and so on). The hardest work, however, was off camera:
- putting together an amazing team of videographers and technicians,
- finding the right people to interview both in and out of the studio,
- finding lovely musical items,
- prayerfully consulting with interviewees about what we should discuss in each episode, and
- making sure that what we put on screen reflects Europe’s diverse nations, culture and people.
As both a creative and technically minded aspiring architect, I love the merging of creative and technical skills that a broadcast like this requires. I love being part of a major Church project that is distinctly European. Furthermore, I learned that I really love to interview people – connecting with them and drawing out their insights. Interviewing also reinforced my strong belief in the inspirational influence of the Holy Spirit. On many occasions I was blessed with inspiration as to what to ask, what to say, and when.
I have learned so much about Christlike love and conduct, from the goodness of our leaders and their families. Up until this year, these were men and women who I had only ever seen speaking at General Conference, or from a distance at a Stake Conference. I have now had many interactions with them, both virtually and in person; they are some of the most wonderful people I know, who want the very best for me and my generation.