Being a young citizen in British Columbia we are not often given the opportunity to make our voices heard or to help make decisions which directly affect us as the most vital partners in the BC education system. For this reason, the BC government is in the midst of launching the 2nd annual Student Congress held in Vancouver at the Morris J. Wosk Centre on April 4th, 2008.
Students across British Columbia will have the opportunity to apply for this fully subsidized event and if accepted will participate in a forum with many high ranking officials in government including the Minister of Education Shirley Bond and the Honourable Premier Gordon Campbell. During this forum, students will be prompted to discuss their role as student leaders in their schools with an emphasis on how the government can help students address issues such as the environment and physical fitness.
Last year I was fortunate enough to be an active participant in the first Student Congress. I found that I was able to see first-hand what the government is focusing on in the education of high-school students and what I can do to make a difference. I also learned how difficult it is to get a straight forward answer from a politician (it’s a skill to get anything personal out of them; they are good at what they do!). In my personal opinion Student Congress is a worthwhile and valuable experience that a handful of students will get the opportunity to participate in.
Based on several leadership events and courses that I have taken in the past and my recent trip to China, I began an innovative venture in my school; the Hands on Help Campaign. Our first humanitarian trip is scheduled through Habitat for Humanity to Zambia, Africa during spring break 2009. I believe it is because of forums like Student Congress that student leaders gain the skills and the inspiration from keynote speakers that they need to become the leaders of tomorrow.
In closing, I would like to thank Youth Canada, for extending this opportunity for me to spread my knowledge as a previous Student Congress attendee. I encourage interested students to participate in this event and I hope that this years’ congress will even more beneficial to those involved.
Student Congress is for grade 10-12 Students in British Columbia. More information can be found on this website. The deadline for applications is February 22, 2008.
BRANDON CHAPMAN is a grade 12 student from Penticton, BC. He is involved with several different organizations such as the BC Youth Parliament, Spirit of BC and RCMP Advisory Committees, the Heart & Stroke Foundation as well as Amnesty International. He holds several executive positions in these organizations but his most captivating accomplishment is the initiation of the Hands on Help Campaign; a humanitarian trip to Africa with Habitat for Humanity. Brandon is also a Flight Sergeant in the local Air Cadet Squadron and he helps schedule training, weekend events as well as teaches classes and participates in several exercises throughout the year. In his spare time, Brandon enjoys snowboarding, lifting weights, playing Halo (honestly, who doesn't), Rock Band, biking, and swimming.
Image courtesy of user "dherrera_96" at Flickr.com via Creative Commons License.