TO celebrate the Year of Young People, every week in 2018 The National will be giving a platform to young Scots aged eight to 26 the chance to give readers insight into their lives, challenge negative stereotypes and share their hopes for the future. Starting the ball rolling is 10-year-old Genevieve Mearns, from Glasgow.

MY name is Genevieve, and I live in Glasgow in a tenement flat. I live with my mum, dad and my twin brother and sister, who are six. We have no pets. I really want a dog but mum and dad say no! Mum said I could get a hamster when I was 10, but on my 10th birthday I never got one. Mum and dad are more cat people, so perhaps we’ll get a cat instead of a dog one day. I hope so.

Things I like are seeing my friends, going to school and going to my clubs. Me and my friends like talking about the singers Dua Lipa and Ariana Grande. Their music makes me feel happy and I like to dance around the house to my favourite songs.

Apart from that we like playing games such as tig. My hobbies are playing hockey, football, tennis and swimming. My favourite footballer is Lionel Messi and my favourite tennis player is Andy Murray. I also love playing with my Lego. I have a huge collection of it which I play with for hours. My first set was a ginormous castle which took me three hours to build. I have Lego Nexo Night which I got for Christmas, and it’s my favourite. Sadly my castle broke – but the fun of Lego is that you can build it back up again.

I am in Primary 6 at school. Our school values are care, respect, honesty, integrity, commitment and equality. We talk a lot about these values at school. One time a man from a food bank came to talk about how many men, women and sadly children have to come to collect food. To help them we gave them food and one classroom was full of bags and bags of food for the food bank.

Lessons that I like are history, maths, PE, science and art. We recently did a project about Mary Queen of Scots. As part of our lessons the whole class performed a play about her. Everyone was very sad when she was executed. For homework one week we also had to write a short play about some part of her life. I chose to write about her second husband Lord Darnley’s murder. It was very dramatic as there was a bomb at his house and he was stabbed, while Mary was at a party. I like learning about Scottish history.

My hopes for the future are to get a dog, get a good job, either as an actor or a vet, have really nice friends and have a nice house. My big dreams are travel to different countries, go to Harry Potter World, and get Harry Potter’s wand.