B.C. Student Voice makes a difference
Mt.Douglas Secondary School
Victoria, British Columbia

By William (grade 12)

Near the end of grade ten, I was approached by my vice-principal, he informed me that I had been nominated to fill a position on the Provincial committee called B.C Voice. Later, I went for an interview at what was to be my future high school, and days later I was notified that I had been chosen for the position. Completely unassuming, and unaware, this position put me right in the middle of an ongoing dream to see empowered student leaders having a significant impact on their own education. Never has one event changed my life so drastically and quickly as did getting involved with student leadership.

Throughout my school education I have always been taught about being a leader, but getting involved put me in a position to practice and promote the many aspects of leadership. The BC Student Voice is my main connection to leadership on a provincial level. The Voice is a committee formed about eight years ago and consists of representatives from different locations around the province who share input and discussions with each other, members of the business community and the Ministry of Education.

One of the most memorable and self-rewarding experiences I have been a part of was a grade eight student leadership retreat in a Junior School in Port Albani. A.W. Neil planned a one day retreat for their entire grade eight population and I was invited to conduct a workshop. I was given the workshop "“How to plan a sucessful event" but we got side tracked into some in-depth discussions about what leadership meant to them as grade eight students. The discussions with these kids made it all worth while. I was invigorated and energized with what they had to say, and they seemed to be feeding off my energy and together it was rewarding and productive for both parties. Many of the kids left without saying anything but many also came up to me and said, “Wow, leadership sounds pretty cool, maybe we really can make a difference!”

As I left Port Albani that evening I sat and thought to myself, “That’s what it’s all about.” The rest of the workshop leaders and I talked on the way home about what had happened and what we had learned, and many of us got more out of the retreat than the student delegates. We were, however, able to see the foundations and potential of solid student leaders as they felt empowered and looked to get involved.

I just received a follow up note from the principal at A.W Neil, and he informed me that they have just completed course registrations and they have forty enthusiastic students signed up for their new Leadership class.

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