DiaBuddies youth leaders get started 14 August 2023 This month, Diabetes Australia launched the inaugural 2023 DiaBuddies Youth Leadership program, a program designed to build leadership skills in young people living with type 1 diabetes. Motivating others, letting people know they have support and being a role model are a few of the many experiences the participants are excited about participating in as part of the program. The scholarship recipients are young people aged between 15-24 years who live with type 1 diabetes from NSW, ACT, TAS and QLD. Ben, 19, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 6 and wants kids to know that diabetes shouldn’t stop you doing your hobbies or reaching your goals. “Don’t let diabetes control your life. Learn to take a break from diabetes and keep doing the things you love doing. Be sure to manage it, but don’t let it stop you.” “I want to inspire others to push past the struggles of Diabetes and not let it stop you from doing what you want to do.” The DiaBuddies Youth Leadership Program enables participants to succeed in life and become an inspirational role model for younger children living with diabetes. The program supports young people living with type 1 diabetes to develop their own personal leadership skills to assist them on their journey; and positively impact the journeys of other children living with type 1 diabetes that they interact with. The 15 scholarship recipients attended the introduction session in July alongside program partner Generation Thrive, the who will be guiding the youth leaders through the twelve-week personal leadership program. The candidates receive a scholarship for six months, running from July 2023 to December 2023. During the scholarship period Generation Thrive is delivering a 12-week online leadership training program, where upon completion, the successful candidates will graduate as a Diabuddies Youth Leader. These graduates will be given the opportunity to attend a DiaBuddies event in 2023 and apply the leadership skills through supporting the younger children in attendance. Zoe, 22, never knew anyone else with diabetes when she was growing up. “I never knew the boundaries of what I could or couldn’t do, or had any mentors on the diabetes front. I had to figure a lot out on my own, and I’d like to help make the journey of navigating diabetes easier on other young people.” Following the scholarship period, DiaBuddies Youth Leaders have the opportunity to continue their journey and remain engaged through Diabetes Australia’s community and programs, which may include further training, sharing their stories, contributing to content and publications, and providing input into program and resource development. The Diabuddies Youth Leadership Program has been made possible by the generous support of Future Generation Australia.