As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to meaningful youth engagement, the North Vancouver Constituency Youth Council (CYC) was formed in 2016. The second annual CYC includes 16 youth between the ages of 14 and 25 from different schools, neighbourhoods, and local associations. The Council will meet from fall 2017 to summer 2018 to discuss a number of issues that could include the environment & climate change, transportation & infrastructure, and housing affordability, among other topics that matter most to the community.
On the one hand, the Member of Parliament will learn more about the views of youth from his region through discussions. On the other hand, young people can network with the other participants and better understand the Canadian political process as they take part in it.
Members of the North Vancouver CYC are tasked with determining the legislative priorities of youth in North Vancouver and to advise Jonathan Wilkinson accordingly. Members elect discussion topics and move on resolutions to be presented to the relevant Minister of the Crown. Council Members will also be planning and presenting a final community project on a topic of interest which will be presented to friends, family, stakeholders and community members.
Meet the 2017/2018 members of the North Vancouver Constituency Youth Council:
Georgia is a grade 12 student at Handsworth Secondary School where she is a member of the 2017 Graduation Council. Upon graduation Georgia plans to attend university to focus on Development Studies with the goal of broadening her knowledge of society and the youth impact.
This past summer Georgia spent a week at UBC participating in a leadership camp for youth where she learned the fundamentals of what it takes to be a great leader. Additionally, she recently travelled to Cuba as part of a school sanctioned fine arts trip to deliver gifts and musical instruments to school aged youth and had the opportunity to perform for and teach them some of our artistic styles.
It was during the above trip Georgia came to the realization that learning from other young people opens up a world of creative ideas. She believes it is necessary we listen to ideas from a variety of people, of all ages, in order to innovate and improve the world we live in
Nabi is a recent immigrant to Canada from Pakistan. He is currently in the process of applying to universities, which finishing up the remainder of his high school courses.
Nabi had previously volunteered at a free eye care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. Upon arrival in Canada, he began volunteering at a community center downtown.
Sierra is a graduate of UBC with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design and has a Master’s of Science in Sustainable Urbanism from University College London.
She has been involved in community initiatives from a young age in cultural, contemporary and artistic fields with a particular focus on the indigenous community.
Sierra has been recognized numerous times for her outstanding community leadership including being selected to run the Olympic Torch in 2010 and being chosen as a recipient of both the City of North Vancouver Youth Recognition Leadership Award and UBC’s Leadership in Design Award. Sierra continues to be an advocate of indigenous consultation, speaking with investors from around the world at a London conference, participating in the Origins Festival and speaking to over 2,000 students in and around London about Coast Salish culture. She was also invited to meet the British Queen for her academic accomplishments and her Kwakwaka’wakw heritage at the Canada 150+ event at Canada House in London, England.
Now back in Vancouver, Sierra intends on continuing to pursue her interests in performance arts and championing her heritage, whilst contributing to sustainability in design through policy and urban planning.
Payam is a long time resident of North Vancouver, which has shaped him into a person that cares for both the environment and the well-being of the world’s most vulnerable. Payam recently received his Honours in Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Simon Fraser University, where he also created a new student club that partnered with the International Rescue Committee. Through this student club, Payam led a group of enthusiastic students in raising money and awareness for programs aimed at providing necessities and education for refugees around the world.
Payam envisions a forward thinking Canada that is more integrated with the world and attracts individuals, from both within and abroad, in the pursuit of creating an environment where innovation and sustainability thrive. Ultimately, Payam wants to make B.C. the driver in his vision for Canada, because he believes B.C. has all the resources needed to launch Canada into becoming a leader in innovation and sustainability.
Andrew is a graduate of BCIT where he is now involved in their career mentorship program helping to advise and guide future professionals through their education and into the workforce. He has a history of involvement in youth leadership positions and most recently took on mentorship and tutoring roles helping people purse careers in the fields of technology and computer sciences. Andrew has worked as Teacher’s Assistant, a volunteer tutor for university level courses in programming and software systems and helps to teach seminars and occasionally guest lectures at UBC and SFU.
Esmée Colbourne is a fourth year Sociology Major at the University of British Columbia who is passionate about community, arts and culture. She has a long history of involvement in community organizations including acting as a counsellor in high school and an alumni society board member for North Vancouver Outdoor School.
Recently Esmée has been focused on writing and the environment. Her environmental engagement is grassroots oriented with a particular focus on Camp Suzuki, creating Camp Element and working towards her Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Currently Esmée is editor for the Sojourners, UBC’s Undergraduate Sociology Journal which is published in UBC’s “The Ubyssey”. She is a music and feature writer for Discorder and is an award winning cellist all while continuing to work at the UBC Irving K Barber Library as a Programming Assistant.
Neha Dhaliwal is a secondary school student who strives to be highly engaged in her school and community while remaining passionate about social justice and societal inequalities. Neha has always worked to encourage young people to be more involved in their communities, and as such is very excited to serve on this year’s Constituency Youth Council.
Over the past few years, Neha has been involved with a number of charities and organizations focused on reducing inequalities, namely the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and Kindler’s Society. Most recently she represented her school at the International Baccalaureate (IB) World Student Conference on global health in London and has since focused on working with the IB to create programs and resources that better represent the issues and concerns of students.
Chloe Fraser is a 17-year-old high school student involved in grad council and student leadership, putting the skills she learned through the UBC leadership camps to use.
Chloe recently completed her year five International Baccalaureate personal project on the importance of girls’ education and has since continued to be very interested and eagerly focused on the subject. An interest and knowledge base she hopes to share through increasing her involvement in empowerment initiatives for women and girls’ education.
Currently, Chloe works at Grouse Mountain in the coffee bar learning customer relations skills and building positive relationships with her colleagues. She is very excited to participate in this year’s Constituency Youth Council with the hope of furthering her goal of becoming a youth leader in her community.
Born and raised in North Vancouver, Morgan grew up hiking, biking and getting lost in the forest. His interest in the outdoors and wildlife led him to purse a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences at UBC and this motivation to have a positive impact in the lives of others has led him to now pursue a degree in medicine at his Alma Mater.
Morgan has been actively engaged in several different organizations including the Canadian Olympic Committee, Field Hockey Canada, North Shore Special Olympics, the Auxiliary to the Lions Gate Hospital and Argyle Secondary School’s track and field team.
He is very much looking forward to learning more about the political process and how everyday citizens can make a difference through this year’s Constituency Youth Council.
Leadership to Maddie means being aware of others and their needs, working to support everyone in your actions. Being a leader is not always about being the most powerful or vocal person in the situation, but instead having your actions reflect those necessary to reach the goal of the group.
From a young age Maddie has tried to lead by example and take responsibility for her actions. A good leader is not afraid to admit to their mistakes, and works with the group to achieve greatness, not claim all the success for themselves. She tries to demonstrate leadership by speaking up and getting involved in her school and community. She volunteers at summer camps for kids at the North Shore Recreation Centers and other private centers during the summers and with Feed the Homeless on the Downtown Eastside at Christmas.
At her school of Handsworth Secondary, she plays for the top Junior Gold field hockey team in the region. Maddie is focused on working hard to help our environment and the progress of our country on this year’s council through voicing the opinions of youth, to ensuring all ages have a say in the future.
Hannah Macdougall is actively involved in many youth groups, such as the British Columbia Youth Parliament, Vancouver Model United Nations and the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Recently, she started a Duke Group within her own school after recognizing the impact kids can have and it is now composed of a group of innovative students.
In her spare time Hannah volunteers her weekdays to clubs as a junior coach with the West Vancouver Field Hockey Club and Tyee Ski Club. She is very excited to engage with likeminded youth from North Vancouver through this year’s council.
Born and raised in North Vancouver, Sara attended Sutherland Secondary where she became President of the District Student Leadership Council. After High School, she completed BCIT’s Marketing Communications Diploma program and currently is at Capilano University in her third year studying Business with a major in International Business.
When she is not in classes, she spends her break’s traveling the world, experiencing different cultures and meeting new individuals. She believes knowledge of other cultures can help us deal with international problems better as well as understand other’s within our community.
Soroush Najafi is a 14-year-old Argyle Secondary School Student who enjoys math, science, PE and all things technology related. Originally born in Tehran, Iran, Souroush moved to Canada at the age of nine with his family and now currently lives in Lynn Valley, North Vancouver.
Soroush was born with an impairment called Cerebral Palsy, a condition where some cells in the brain burn out causing the body to reroute commands to different areas. This rerouting then causes muscle spasms and tightness as a result of an overuse of a particular muscle group. This in turn disrupts walking, coordination, balance and some fine motor skills. Thus far, Soroush has undergone four major operations to try and improve mobility and he is able to walk normally for short periods of time.
In his spare time Soroush enjoys playing video games, researching and learning about technology related topics, programming apps and website development. Currently he is focused particularly in FOREX trading and is practicing for his future with a demo account.
Layne North is a grade 12 student at Brockton School. He was chosen to be the first student to represent his school at the ‘Democracy’ and Youth’ week of Encounters Canada, at which he was elected leader of his party. He was also invited to speak at the Canada 150 and Me Regional Forum on the Environment and was one of 150 young Canadians selected to attend the National Youth Forum in Ottawa.
On tour internationally, Layne is a lead player in the World Music Program, which has represented Canada at festivals in Scotland and Greece, performed at Carnegie Hall and will be playing by invitation at the ‘Golden Hall’ in Vienna in July 2018.
Layne is actively involved in a variety of community endeavors, including the Duke of Edinburgh program at his school and through the Vancouver Aquarium, assisting with the care of abandoned and injured mammals at the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre and teaching children about Canada’s oceans.
Having immigrated to Canada at a young age, North Vancouver has now been home to Andrew for more than 15 years. Currently, he is an International Relations major at the University of British Columbia and a Youth Delegate at the Youth as Peacebuilders Forum for the 3rd UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial.
Andrew’s experience in representing and working with youth also includes directing a youth employment project in Vancouver for the UN Association in Canada, volunteering as a camp leader at youth camps in First Nations reserves in BC, and as a Vice President at a student-run charity organization called Oxfam UBC.
*Applications for this years council has closed
The North Vancouver Constituency Youth Council will be accepting applications at the beginning of the 2018-19 scholastic year. Please contact Sarah Saaed at Jonathan.Wilkinson.C1B@parl.gc.ca or (604) 755-6333 for questions about this initiative.
© 2018 Jonathan Wilkinson. All rights reserved.