The Östman family moved to Lappeenranta from Tampere the same year that the family’s oldest child, Saara, turned 11.
Seven years ago, the little girl was sorry about moving to a new city, but now Saara Östman, an upper secondary school student and young PR ambassador of her home town, is sincerely happy about the family’s return to her mother’s old home region.
“Lappeenranta has offered me plenty of opportunities. Somehow things are easier to control here, the opportunities are visible and it is easy to get involved. My Lappeenranta is full of music, song, and theatre,” says Saara with a smile.
Both Saara and her brother, who is two years younger than her, have been performing with their parents since they were young. Music has been a hobby for the whole family, and they still perform together every now and then.
“It has been easy to get involved in music, because it is a part of our way of life; my grandfather is musical, and so are my uncle and cousins. I started with the guitar at Art School Estradi, and I practice the piano at the Music Institute, meanwhile in the folk music group Roihu I play the electric bass too, and I try to pick up the accordion with Mum, but singing is my number one passion. I also love dancing,” Saara says.
Hobbies give energy for school
At upper secondary school, Saara also took up theatre, even though the atmosphere was already familiar from the Art School Estradi’s joint projects with the band school, circus and the youth theatre. In 2017, Saara will appear in a collaborative production of the Lappeenranta City Theatre and the upper secondary school theatre, entitled Nahkatakkinen tyttö (The Girl in a Leather Jacket).
After school, Saara is interested in continuing her studies in a field that has some connection to music.
“I have dreamed about becoming a music teacher for a long time, but my time at the upper secondary school’s theatre group has made me realise that performing could be one element of my future profession.
Saara has managed to combine school and hobbies, and sometimes time is actually saved, because music and theatre can be used, to some degree, to compensate for the optional subjects at the upper secondary school.
“My goals are in music, but I want to do well in school, too. I feel that my hobbies give me energy for school, and my teachers give me emotional support for my hobbies,” Saara says, laughing.
Her home city’s Young PR Ambassador
Saara Östman and four other young people from Lappeenranta are young PR ambassadors for her home city for a third season now. This season will last until April 2018.
The City of Lappeenranta selects five young people, who do well in their hobbies, have a natural ease of performance and are positive representatives of the city, as PR ambassadors every two years to act as encouraging role models for other young people in the city.
Saara has already taken part in a marketing material shoot for her home city, performed at events, given tours around Lappeenranta, and updated the Instagram account. There will also be blogs on the city’s website.
On 12 November, after a visit to the City Theatre, Saara updated the City’s Instagram account:
“I had the chance to enjoy culture at the City Theatre today, such a great experience. I also had my photo taken together with the amazing team. These guys are just fantastic!”