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Four FMPSD students to join Youth Advisory Council

Last Updated Oct 23, 2019 at 7:32 pm MDT

PHOTO: (left to right) Seham Ahmed of Fort Murray Islamic School Priyank Dave and Aditya Ayri of Westwood Community High School Fareedah Sadek of École McTavish will join the 40-member Youth Advisory Council, which meets with Alberta's Education Minister in October, February, and May. Supplied by FMPSD.

A month ago, they were back in school and now they’re off to Edmonton.

Fort McMurray Public School Division (FMPSD) announced four of its students will join the Education’s Minister’s Youth Advisory Council.

  • Seham Ahmed of Fort Murray Islamic School
  • Priyank Dave and Aditya Ayri of Westwood Community High School
  • Fareedah Sadek of École McTavish

FMPSD Superintendent Doug Nicholls said he’s proud of the students.

“To have four out of 40 students on the Council from FMPSD is impressive. This shows the calibre of leadership being cultivated in schools. We are proud of Seham, Aditya, Priyank and Fareedah. These are FMPSD leaders, who will make us proud on the provincial stage as well.”

Alberta Education received more than 200 applications from junior and senior high schools across the province.

Moreover, Wood Buffalo students comprised 10 per cent of the 40-member panel.

Future leaders

Students on the Youth Council must show leadership qualities as well as excel in academics and extra-curricular activities.

FMIS Principal Mehar Rashid described Seham as a humble, hard-working student, who takes initiative and enjoys helping others.

“She has been an active member of FMIS student council and Mayor’s Advisory Council on Youth (MACOY). With her strong leadership skills, she has become a role model for our elementary and junior high students.”

Proud of her selection, Rashid said Seham will be a great ambassador for FMIS and the school division.

Seham, who is in grade nine, is also happy about the appointment.

“It’s a unique opportunity to learn from leaders, table ideas on a bigger platform, and be involved in the development and implementation of initiatives for the province.”

Westwood boasts two representatives, who will sit in the council this year, for a second consecutive year.

Additionally, Principal Cynthia Shelley said the school encourages its students to become active citizens and leaders in youth matters.

“It is a tremendous pleasure to inspire students to be informed leaders and share their voice in ways that will impact a change for the benefit of all students.”

16-year-olds Priyank Dave and Aditya Ayri said they look forward to representing their school and the region in this year’s council.

“I love providing my opinion to help change the environment around me.” Said Priyank Dave.

Difference makers

Aditya is no stranger to representing Westwood regionally and nationally.

He and three schoolmates represented Wood Buffalo in the national science fair last year.

Starting in grade 12, Aditya also wants to showcase community volunteerism and student initiative.

“An acceptance into the Minister’s Youth Council gives me a feeling of willingness and opportunity to implement my perspectives on Alberta Education. I believe having diversity in a Council is key in acting as a collective and creates synergies to make pluralistic decisions.”

Finally, École McTavish’s Fareedah Sadek rounds out the list of students representing Wood Buffalo.

Scott Barr, the school’s Principal, called Fareedah an excellent student, who wanted to join the Council since last year.

“[Fareedah is] a great representative for her fellow Marauders, and all students. She will bring a great voice and positive focus to all the students she gets to work with.”

Now in grade 10, Fareedah said she looks forward to the first meeting later this month.

“I consider it a tremendous honour and responsibility to represent the youth of Wood Buffalo. It is going to be a wonderful privilege to have the opportunity to work alongside the Minister of Education. I hope the Council can work towards achieving what’s best for Alberta youth.”

Eager to bring forth her ideas, as well as those of her McTavish students, she said she won’t take the experience for granted.

The Youth Advisory Council meets in Edmonton in October, February, and May.