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Metchosin student creates petition for mentorship program in B.C. legislature

Grade 11 student says the aim is for y0ung people to learn more about the role of an MLA
A Metchosin high school student is looking for signatures for a petition to create a mentorship program in the legislature for youths looking to learn more about B.C. politics. (Bailey Seymour/The News)

A Metchosin high school student’s petition is urging the province, through a petition, to create a mentorship program so young people can learn about what it’s like to be a B.C. politician.

Ares Vankoeveringe, a Grade 11 student at Westmont Montessori School, first started talking with fellow school students and community members about what they think would make a positive change in their community as part of a school project, and based on what he heard, he decided to create the petition.

“As youth myself, I don’t fully know what an MLA actually does, and how that works, and how you actually can become an MLA,” said Vankoeveringe. “Young people are the future, they’ll be the ones that will be running things, and we got to know how to do it, but we also need to have young people in politics. It gives more varied perspectives, and from what I’ve heard, the more diverse perspectives you can call from when making decisions, leads to better decisions.”

So far he said he has garnered almost 100 signatures on paper and online, and he hopes to gather more at future school events. He added Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin, also agreed to present the petition in the legislative assembly once the petition gathered enough signatures.

“It isn’t politics, necessarily, that was the enticing part of this project, I wanted to do something that makes change because people will think high school projects don’t actually go anywhere, and some of my projects I’m doing is like a fun thing, but I wanted to have a project where it actually makes a difference,” he said.

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Bailey Seymour

About the Author: Bailey Seymour

After graduating from SAIT and stint with the Calgary Herald, I ended up at the Nanaimo News Bulletin/Ladysmith Chronicle in March 2023
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