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Daria Bannikova

Youth Volunteer,
Moscow Urban Forum

Daria Bannikova is a 15 year old student passionate about biology, psychology, music, theater, and foreign languages. She aspires to become a youth leader in the areas of mental health and well-being, social justice and equalities, and support advocacy in combating stigmatization in these areas.  

Growing up, Daria has always found her north star in performing, and she started in Theatre Club since she was in first grade. For her, being in this club has given her many wonderful experiences, both on a professional and personal level. In the former, she has acquired strong expression and communication skills through improving on her performing arts abilities Leveraging on her own training, she is in a better position, on a peer-to-peer level, to help the young students learn how to act and emote. On the latter, as a performer, every time before the curtain rises she has felt anticipation (with a dash of nerves), but once the show starts, she can sense her nerves disappear as she gets emotionally in touch with her role. She can feel she is creating moments and memories not just for the audience, but also for the other performing students, some as young as 10, whom she supported as an “elder”. She is proud of her close to a decade of time spent in theater, and it is truly one of her most important components of her life.  

In high school, she has been doing IGCSE2 at school, and her favorite subjects are Biology, Spanish and Chemistry. She is learning Spanish as a foreign language, acting on her interests in linguistics. Outside of her academics, she chose activities which can give her real world experiences and personal growth. She volunteered at Moscow Urban Forum 2022, where she had three main roles, including handling registration, providing assistance to the organization committee and supporting the operations team to execute the overall event. It was one of the longest shifts she has ever done, exceeding 10 hours at time, and she learned the virtues of patience. She is also a fan of traveling, and she completed a trip to the Maldives with her family, where she felt connected and rested again after the turbulent two years. 

Looking ahead, Daria aims to pursue her interest in both psychology (where she can explore self-expression and motivational behavior) and biology (where she can deepen her knowledge of people and environment). She intends to do a Masters degree in the area of psychotherapy. All in all, she aims to serve the interests of her community and support in the holistic development of youth in the future. 

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