Zeminar is taking place this year in the RDS on October 10th, 11th and 12th. Zeminar is an event for Generation Z, particularly those aged between 15 and 20, and their parents, teachers, mentors and coaches. You can buy tickets for Zeminar here.
This year's Zeminar hosts some incredible and inspiring speakers. Running up the event, SpunOut will be bringing you profiles of some of these amazing young people. First up is Nicole Ryan, who is raising awareness around synthetic drugs.
Why are you taking part in Zeminar?
I am taking part in Zeminar because I think its a phenomenal event. It's a great way to communicate with hundreds of students, teachers, young people and the public about ongoing issues that they may not have heard of. Zeminar gives you a fantastic platform to meet like minded people and to share your goals, your message and to inspire the future generations. I am truly honored and excited to be given a chance to take part.
Why do you think it's important?
I think Zeminar is so important because it brings people together from all over Ireland for a unique experience – there is nothing like it here in Ireland. You get to learn, grown and find out new things that are going on. You make connections and it lets students explore and not be afraid of perhaps what others may think of them. It provides support and information on very current and relevant matters and even gives them a chance to make some wonderful friends. I mean who wouldn't want to be part of such a great event?!
What would you have liked to hear when you were a teenager?
As a teen coming from a small town and a small community I was always sheltered from the real events of the world and it wasn't until I went to college that I realised certain things. I think it is tremendously important that young people are connected to what is going on so that they can voice their opinions and ideas. For me personally I would have loved to have heard more about the importance of mental health and received a proper education about drugs. Especially, as a girl, I would have loved to find a way to express myself without being forced into the norms of society and not be afraid to voice my opinions in the knowledge that I do matter.
What are you going to say?
I am going to share my journey into adulthood, speak about synthetic drugs and briefly share my brothers incredible story. Hopefully I can inspire people into knowing that even in the darkest and most difficult situations, every cloud does in fact have a silver lining.