Speak Up

2017-18 Minister's Student Advisory Council

The Minister's Student Advisory Council (MSAC) is a group of approximately sixty students from all parts of the publicly funded education system and regions of the province. These students share their ideas and provide advice to the minister on a variety of topics regarding Ontario's publicly funded education system.

Meet the council members from your region

Barrie

Parker Q., Grade 7, Whitby

Parker Q., Grade 7, Whitby

Hi, I’m Parker and I applied to the MSAC because I wanted a chance to have my voice heard. I feel that it is important for all students to share their ideas, opinions and concerns. As an active Grade 7 student, I have witnessed missed opportunities to change things for the better in my school and now, I can be the change!

I felt like this could be a wonderful opportunity to meet other people who have similar interests or educational goals and others that I can learn and grow from. I am excited to be given the opportunity to contribute positively and share with my peers.


Emiliano L., Grade 9, Richmond Hill

Emiliano L., Grade 9, Richmond Hill

Hello, my name's Emiliano, many people call me Em. I am extremely honoured to have the opportunity to serve on the Minister's Student Advisory Council for 2017-2018. Throughout my years in elementary school and the beginning of my high school years, I have always enjoyed becoming involved and supporting multiple councils and clubs. I hope to bring knowledge on bullying, and work on ways to make it obsolete as I hope that no one has to experience this while enjoying Ontario’s schools. I have had the pleasure of serving in my school's student government, with this I hope to bring my voice and multiple other student voices to talk about various topics.


Fouz U., Grade 9, Orillia

Fouz U., Grade 9, Orillia

My name is Fouz and I’m 14 years old. I like to be involved in our community through volunteering. I am involved in our school’s Student Advisory Council (SAC) and the Teen Advisory Board (TAB) at our local library. I think that MSAC is a great opportunity not only for me, but for all students my age in Ontario. It gives us a chance to make our education system better than it has ever been. I am excited to have an impact on our education system so that we can improve it for future students. I have also experienced the education system in Pakistan where I am originally from. I have some ideas to share regarding development of analytical skills at elementary levels. Lastly, I am definitely looking forward to meeting other MSAC members and the Minister of Education, and being a voice from my school.


Kayden M., Grade 9, Markham

Kayden M., Grade 9, Markham

My name is Kayden. I have a passion for sports and dramatic arts. I am a competitive swimmer and a junior varsity football player. I attend a specialty arts high school for drama in Markham, Ontario.

I applied for the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC) because it’s an excellent platform for student voices to be heard to make positive improvements to our educational school environments, while promoting diversity and inclusivity for all students. I’m excited that through my participation in MSAC, I will be given the opportunity to represent my peers to help bring improvements to student-life balance through the elimination of racism, discrimination and bullying; creating positive learning environments for all students in Ontario.


Dominic Z., Grade 11, Thornhill

Dominic Z., Grade 11, Thornhill

My name is Dominic. I applied for the Minister’s Student Advisory Council because it was a great way to represent my school community and also have my voice heard as a student in Ontario. I enjoy sports and watching the financial markets. I am the president of the Media Council and Investment Club at my school in the York Catholic District School Board. It is important that we as students are taught financial literacy because when we grow up we are on our own to manage our finances. Students will graduate knowing how to find the hypotenuse of a triangle but not know life skills, like how to do their taxes or what APR stands for. I am excited to have an impact on the Ontario Education system, which can improve the lives of future students.


Hanna B., Grade 11, Markdale

Hanna B., Grade 11, Markdale

Having lived in both rural Ontario and downtown Toronto, I feel that I have a very well-rounded experience and perspective on the student voice. Currently I am going to a small school where there is a fading passion for French as a Second Language (FSL) immersion, extended and core courses. Being that I have a love for languages, I wish to encourage multilingualism at my school. In joining the MSAC, I hope to be able to promote the opportunities that acquiring a second language offers. As a working student, another concern that I have is financial planning. I feel it is crucial that students be well prepared for their futures and will be able to independently and confidently plan their lives financially. I look forward to giving input on how students can support the ministry in this endeavor.


Leigh K., Grade 11, Ajax

Leigh K., Grade 11, Ajax

As someone who has struggled with mental illness for a large part of my life, I feel as though I can offer some valuable insight on the difficulties myself and fellow students with mental illness have experienced and how we can be supported. Additionally, because of my mental illness, I left school for a year and a half and I would like to make sure that doesn’t happen to any other student. My main goal is really making schools feel like a safe and supportive place and not a daunting experience. I am looking forward to working with my fellow council members on a variety of issues and I am extremely honoured to be appointed.


Tenzin S., Grade 11, Bowmanville

Tenzin S., Grade 11, Bowmanville

My name is Tenzin and I am a Grade 11 student. I applied to serve on the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC) because I have a strong passion for student voice. Ever since I was young, I have developed a willingness to work and a passion to serve. Throughout the years, I have been able to bring forward meaningful change for young people, whether that is as a Youth Councillor on the Durham Youth Council or as Student Trustee for the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board. Now, I want to continue representing students as a member of MSAC so that we can ensure that Ontario’s education system remains one of the best in the world!


Tess B., Grade 11, Durham

Tess B., Grade 11, Durham

I am a member of student council at my high school, and was a participant in this year's Forum for Young Canadians. I applied for the Minister's Student Advisory Council because I want to give rural schools a voice. Living in a rural area, I have seen and felt first-hand the pain that can be caused when our government does not take smaller communities into account. School after school is shut down, and my peers and I are left wondering when students will start to be valued more than finances. I am very proud to be part of a council that can help to remedy problems within the current system, and I look forward to standing up for all of Ontario's students in any way I can.


Connor C., Grade 12, Janetville

Connor C., Grade 12, Janetville

My name is Connor. MSAC meetings seem like a great way for me to articulate ideas to those individuals who have the authority to actually implement them. Additionally, it is the ideal setting to meet fellow students who share my passion for critical thinking and public speaking. I have volunteered for many years at the Ross Memorial Hospital, and am incredibly active in the debates and discussions within my own school. Though I have developed many ideas of my own, I am excited to see what ideas students from across the province have generated, and how well or poorly my own align with theirs. I am very drawn to being involved in the discussion and process of change, and the MSAC meetings allow such a desire to be fulfilled.


Jason S., Grade 12, Queensville

Jason S., Grade 12, Queensville

Coucou tout le monde! Quoi de neuf? My name is Jason and I am currently in Grade 12. Within my school, I have taken multiple leadership roles such as student council president, co-founder of the Unique and United Through Culture Club (UUTCC) and more.

The UUTCC is a club which embraces the growing diversity amongst the students in my school, creates safe spaces for students with diverse backgrounds to speak up without fear of being discriminated against, and instigates healthy discussions open to all students at my school, about various topics related to race and religion.

I joined MSAC to not only further develop my leadership skills, but to continue the work of the UUTCC on a larger scale. This involves encouraging multiculturalism within Ontario schools, exploring ways that we can all embrace the diversity of our provincial wide student body and create safe spaces for minority students as well.


London Region

Domenic R., Grade 7, Hamilton

Domenic R., Grade 7, Hamilton

Hello my name is Domenic and I am an average kid looking to make a difference. I applied to the Minister’s Student Advisory Council because I want to contribute to creating positive change for the youth of Ontario. I’d like to work towards educating secondary school students on financial planning for post-secondary studies. I also support the idea of engaging youth in politics and keeping them actively involved so we may be informed voters in the future. I feel that inclusion and anti-bullying initiatives are valid and very important topics to address. I attend a Grade 7 French Immersion program in Hamilton, Ontario. I reside with my parents and a younger sister. I have a keen interest in politics and have presented at a city council meeting and am proud to have worked with my MP and my MPP.


Jada M., Grade 7, Windsor

Jada M., Grade 7, Windsor

Hi, I'm Jada. I live in Windsor, which is right across the border from Detroit, Michigan. I play travel hockey for the Windsor Wildcats and dance competitively, but I also have a huge passion for baseball. I am in Grade 7 and I enjoy several subjects; math and history are my favourite. I am so honoured to be a part of the 2017-18 Minister’s Student Advisory Council, and think this will be good professional development for me. I applied because I think there are many more opportunities for us to engage students in the classroom, in the school, and in the community. I look forward to working with the other council members in making progressive change for all.


Gillian M., Grade 8, London

Gillian M., Grade 8, London

My name is Gillian and I live in London, Ontario. I am actively involved in leadership, sports and music at my school. I applied to be a part of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council because I believe education can change anything and should be one of the most valued aspects of our society. I want all students to recognize that education is important at all levels and is essential to be successful in the future. It does not matter whether your goals in life are to work or continue with education beyond high school, education is necessary so you can contribute positively to society.


Cameron J., Grade 10, Stratford

Cameron J., Grade 10, Stratford

Hi! I am Cameron, a Grade 10 student from Stratford. In 2014, I was fortunate to serve as a Legislative Page at Queen’s Park. Seeing the government in action was life-changing! I am currently involved in a SpeakUp Project I created called “Everyone has a Story” that gives a voice to Alzheimer’s patients in my community who are unable to speak for themselves. I enjoy school and love to learn. I believe that high schools should strive to celebrate academic achievements on par with athletic achievements. I am a quiet observer – I have a lot to say, but sometimes struggle to share my ideas publicly. I am not alone in this and welcome the opportunity to help find ways for other students to find their voice. I am excited to be a part of MSAC and look forward to making a difference.


Kiara K., Grade 10, Welland

Kiara K., Grade 10, Welland

Hello, my name is Kiara I am a Grade 10 student. Some of my hobbies include Air Cadets, reading and sports. I am a very family-oriented person and I love spending time with my family. I am a hardworking, enthusiastic person. This year I decided to apply to the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC) because I have always enjoyed representing my peers and giving my opinion on different student issues. In the 2017-2018 MSAC year I hope to bring my diverse opinions and views on aboriginal education to the table. I am very excited to represent my area in the upcoming year and look forward to it.


Lexeia F., Grade 10, Tupperville

Lexeia F., Grade 10, Tupperville

I am actively involved in rugby, theatre, band and youth group. I applied for the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC) because I believe that every voice should count and be heard. I come from a rural area and belonging to a very small group of Métis, I feel our voices are often misunderstood or not heard. I want to give our community the opportunity to be heard and get the changes we want. I am interested in learning more about the education system and having my voice as a Métis student matter. I hope to continue to reduce barriers that exist for students and teachers by creating conversations and continuing to close the gap between recognizing Métis student success and achievements as well as all other non Métis students. I am confident that our combined ideas will lead to a brighter future for everyone including Métis students. I'm very excited and honoured to be a part of MSAC!


Christopher N., Grade 11, Dresden

Christopher N., Grade 11, Dresden

I am a proud Franco-Ontarian student. I do my best to represent all the students who do not have a voice at the political table and to act in their interests. That is why I submitted my application for the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC).

My passion for a fair education dictates my political actions and is my motivation for my mandate on the representative council of the federation of Franco-Ontarian youth. That is also why I was elected as a student counsellor on the Conseil scolaire catholique Providence. I have tried since the beginning of my experience at the secondary level to improve the school climate of all students and make their environment truly fair. The Minister’s Student Advisory Council is the next step on the path I would like to follow.


Ishreet B., Grade 11, Breslau

Ishreet B., Grade 11, Breslau

My name is Ishreet and I’m an International Baccalaureate student. The Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC) is essentially an instrument that serves as one of the best ways for the ministry to understand student issues through the youth that experience them. One of my most valued assets as a person is my desire to meet and learn about new people. Everyone has lived their own lives, each telling its own remarkable story. By having tried to connect with so many people all through my life, I’ve heard a sea of stories from people of all different cultures, ethnicities, education levels, religions, sexualities, and so forth. Mixed in with my own experiences, I’ve come to understand these people, and I sincerely believe that with my genuine interest in their lives, I can truly help make all of them proud and happy with the education system that they are part of!


Kyle T., Grade 11, Windsor

Kyle T., Grade 11, Windsor

My name is Kyle and I am a Grade 11 student from Windsor. As someone who is involved with many extracurriculars within my school, such as the student council, justice league, interact club and multiple sports teams, I applied to be a part of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC) to advocate for student voice and involvement through extracurricular activities. I am a firm believer that given the chance, youth have the ability to change the world. The opportunities that extracurricular activities provide students are paramount to their success and growth, and will allow them to flourish as leaders in our society. I believe that participating in this year’s MSAC will allow me to speak up for those who lack the resources to get engaged or for those who aren’t yet sure how to get involved.


Camelia S., Grade 12, Windsor

Camelia S., Grade 12, Windsor

As a grade 12 student, attending post-secondary is approaching quickly. I submitted my name for the MSAC because our labour market is changing but the education necessary to enter it is not changing much. I dream of promoting various learning methods in all subjects, such as visual, kinesthetic and/or auditory. I was a member of the student government in my school and the senate of my board. I worked with various departments and knowing the current issues facing our schools was very informative. The Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC) is a higher platform that I will use to the best of my abilities to make my ideas known. I wish to make an impact across the province to alleviate the concerns of students preparing for postsecondary education.


Eva R., Grade 12, St. Catharines

Eva R., Grade 12, St. Catharines

My name is Eva and I’m from the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN). Knowing first-hand the obstacles that come with immigration, I became passionate about helping other newcomers as I was once in their position. My vision is to embrace multiculturalism and promote equality in our school boards. As a leader in my student government, member of the St. Catharines Federal Youth Council, DSBN Student Senator and executive at the Federation of Canadian Secondary Students, I want to ensure all voices are heard. From my leadership experience, I developed an inclusive style of leadership for an equitable environment, and cannot wait to give a youth perspective on issues that matter to us. With the goal of increasing student voice, I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to represent Ontario’s students through the Minister’s Student Advisory Council.


Hannah R., Grade 12, Tecumseh

Hannah R., Grade 12, Tecumseh

My name is Hannah and I am a Grade 12 student from Tecumseh, Ontario. I applied to MSAC because I believe in the power of student voice. As a Youth Ambassador for Children First Canada and Chairperson of Tecumseh’s Youth Advisory Committee, I advocate for the voice of children and youth. As a member of the council, I will continue to advocate for safe spaces for students to share their feedback on our education system. I am passionate about developing and implementing alternative learning strategies for students, especially in math. I am honoured to represent the students of Ontario and collaborate with leaders in government to build an education system that generates success for all students.


Raymond Y., Grade 12, Wallaceburg

Raymond Y., Grade 12, Wallaceburg

As a student who has served, among other extracurricular activities, as a United Way Youth Ambassador and a Student Senator for the entire school board, I have found that it is imperative for our students to be engaged in their education. We cannot be at the forefront of the global economy – the most competitive economy in modern history – with disengaged students. Instead, we need to enable our students to discover their passions and excel in their interests. We need to provide resources so our students can maintain a strong level of mental health, and it was with this idea in mind that I showcased mental health programs through media channels and organized a mental health workshop. As a member of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council, I believe our unique perspectives and diverse backgrounds can enable a brighter, stronger future for all students.


North Bay/Sudbury Region

Michelle D., Grade 7, North Bay

Michelle D., Grade 7, North Bay

My name is Michelle and I am a Grade 7 student who has benefitted greatly from Ontario’s education system. I have an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and intend to pursue a science-based career. I really enjoy the non-academic part of my education including sports, theatre, and other various clubs. My main goal is to improve the education system for all students including my peers with varying abilities. I think that students should be able to experience the outdoors and connect with Mother Nature. I am also interested in making teachers more open to students by encouraging them to be easier to talk to if a kid has a problem. I would also love to learn more about Ontario’s education system and meet fellow students from across Ontario.


Emily H., Grade 8, Sault Ste. Marie

Emily H., Grade 8, Sault Ste. Marie

Hello, my name is Emily and honoured to be chosen as a member of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC). This experience will further develop my leadership skills. Students in leadership positions can encourage, and be role models for others. I have taken several leadership programs, was appointed student school council rep and sit on the Youth Advisory Committee at the YMCA. I will bring hard work and dedication as an MSAC member. In 2016, I received the Ontario Youth Volunteer Award. I volunteer as a swimming instructor’s assistant, mentoring younger swimmers and providing leadership. I also volunteer with Kiwanis, a school breakfast program and sports for the disabled. It is important that students get involved in their communities and volunteering is a great way to do this. I would like to see younger students providing service to our community as part of the curriculum.


Rileigh E., Grade 8, Hanmer

Rileigh E., Grade 8, Hanmer

My name is Rileigh and I enjoy reading, painting and being outdoors. I love playing most sports, especially hockey, basketball and slow-pitch. Some things I am involved with at school include student parliament, the Students as Researchers (StAR) team and social justice committee. My favourite subjects are math and science.

I applied to the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC) because I want to be able to share my opinion on issues in our schools and help improve them for everyone. I am honoured to be a part of this year’s council. I believe that student voice is a key part of our schools and I am super excited to be able to share my ideas and beliefs with others who care about student voice as much as me. I can’t wait to help improve our schools for students so they enjoy school and can express themselves and their opinions.


Megan K., Grade 8, Sturgeon Falls

Megan K., Grade 8, Sturgeon Falls

Hello, my name is Megan and I like team work, singing and school. I am 14 years old and my birthday is January 1. I live in Sturgeon Falls with my parents and my older brother. School is not too difficult for me. I work hard to succeed. Soon, my school path with take me to the secondary level. I am very happy to be part of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council. I have lots of ideas to make our voices heard! Together we will build a strong voice that will change the school world! I can’t wait to meet you!


Sam M., Grade 9, Powassan

Sam M., Grade 9, Powassan

Hi, my name is Sam and I’m a Grade 9 Catholic French Immersion student. I enjoy mathematics, volunteering at my local library and Christian theatre group, and tutoring math students.

I applied to the Minister’s Student Advisory Council because I wanted to bring change to a tired school curriculum and way of teaching. Too often students disengage because the teacher is teaching to the “average”. I will advocate for a more individualised education system and a greater use of technology in classes. This position has granted me the opportunity to have the voices of my peers heard by people who dictate what and how we are taught. I believe as Albert Einstein said, “If we judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree it will live its entire life believing that it is stupid.” In my opinion, too many capable people graduate believing that they are incapable.


Amanda D., Grade 11, North Bay

Amanda D., Grade 11, North Bay

Hi! My name is Amanda and I am in Grade 11. I applied for the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC) because I’ve had a lot of experience with the education system; I have been to two demonstration schools – Trillium in Milton and Sagonaska in Belleville. I feel that I can inform ministry staff about my experiences and can give some advice on how to properly help someone with a learning disability. I also believe that all kids, no matter where they come from or what they believe, should have equal access to education. So, at the end of the day the reason why I applied to MSAC is to talk to the ministry about equal and fair education for all kids. I would like to see all students succeed and get a meaningful education.


Alex C., Grade 11, Sudbury

Alex C., Grade 11, Sudbury

My name is Alex and I am a Grade 11 student in the Sudbury Catholic District School Board. I am the Vice-President of my school and the Student Trustee Elect for the school board. I believe that the Minister’s investment in listening to the student voice aids in creating a successful education system. We are the future of our great province and the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC) provides us with the opportunity to have our voices heard and make great relationships with new people from all over the province. Meeting students with a variety of experiences and visions is truly the opportunity of a lifetime. Our voices will definitely be heard through MSAC and I believe it will be an unforgettable experience. In the words of Ghandi, “I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.”


Annina C., Grade 11, Sault Ste. Marie

Annina C., Grade 11, Sault Ste. Marie

Bonjour! As a strong leader all of my life, I was naturally inspired to seek this amazing opportunity. My involvement in school includes being a competitive dance team member, a Link Crew leader (mentor program for Grade 9 students), Christian Life Day leader (program to help lead Grade 9 students in their faith), and the Junior Vice-President of Student Council. I am passionate about Ontario’s education system and all the wonderful opportunities and privileges it provides. I look forward to being a part of this team and to help pave the way to an even brighter future for all of Ontario’s students!


Ottawa Region

Ève L., Grade 7, St-Pascal Baylon

Ève L., Grade 7, St-Pascal Baylon

Hello, my name is Ève and I feel very lucky to be part of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council 2017-2018. I live in St-Pascal Baylon, a village less than an hour away from Ottawa. If you look for me, you will find me on a volleyball court, at the library, in a kitchen or playing violin. I like being involved in my school. At the elementary level I had the opportunity to be part of the students’ government as a class representative three times. Getting involved is teaching and learning from others. I submitted my name for the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC) to have an enriching experience that will help me grow. I like going to school and it is sad to see students who dislike getting up in the morning to go to school. This situation MUST change and I want to contribute to it.


Hannah V., Grade 7, Renfrew

Hannah V., Grade 7, Renfrew

Hello my name is Hannah. I’m a Grade 7 student. I am very concerned about youth poverty. I believe that children require three good meals a day to achieve good academic grades. At my school the Child Poverty Action Network (CPAN) program is being used to make sure that no child goes hungry. Every day two healthy snacks are provided to every student; one snack in the morning and one in the afternoon. This program therefore is a great supplement for each student’s well-being both mentally and physically. A snow suit fund also helps our school by providing warm winter clothing to families in need. In conclusion, I believe youth in poverty are being supported in two major areas. Programs like CPAN and the snow suit fund are helping but the need never stops. That is why I am honoured to be a part of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council.


Brooklyn G., Grade 8, Madoc

Brooklyn G., Grade 8, Madoc

Hi, my name is Brooklyn and I live in Madoc, Ontario (North of Belleville). I am currently in Grade 8. I play ukulele and look forward to the musical theatre program when I get to high school. I have volunteered at our local food bank for almost 2 years now. I have accomplished a lot in my 10 years in the public school system by winning Character Education awards, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) award, Principal's award and Spirit awards, but I am most proud of raising $1200 to buy a wig for a child with cancer. Growing up in rural Ontario, I joined the Minister’s Student Advisory Council to one day be a voice for our smaller communities. I also look forward to being an advocate for music in education, and meeting new friends from across Ontario and sharing my experiences with them.


Josh L., Grade 8, Brockville

Josh L., Grade 8, Brockville

I believe that by working together we can make a difference. I have been a member of the Brockville YMCA’s “Tomorrow’s Leaders Today” program for 2 years and am a strong public advocate for students with Learning Disabilities. I met with the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth in 2016 to discuss student issues and rights.

I believe that students with disabilities should have access to testing, programs, supports and use of assistive technology to ensure they are successful in school. Students need to feel safe and accepted in their home school environment regardless of their learning differences. Student mental health and ensuring that students have a strong support system in place is a top concern of mine.

I’m proud to be a member of the 2017-18 Minister’s Student Advisory Council and am looking forward to meeting students from across the province. I will be the voice for students who cannot advocate for themselves.


Yasmine, Z., Grade 9, Orléans

Yasmine, Z., Grade 9, Orléans

Education goes further than a mathematics and French course; it is a step towards evolution. This vision will not come to life unless we succeed in creating a climate of acceptance and open-mindedness in schools. It is in order to have a society where everybody is included that I am a member of the MSAC and have been involved in politics for years. We must change things and we can do it! I believe we all have the capacity to work and live together despite our differences. Our various cultures or gender identifications should be a treasure for us! I am Yasmine, an International Baccalaureate student, and I want to make our schools a place where we all feel accepted. My goal is to convince you that change is possible – all you need is to believe!


Emma S., Grade 10, Kingston

Emma S., Grade 10, Kingston

I applied to be part of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council because I have a passion for politics and student government and I want to have my voice heard. It is my dream to someday be a lawyer or elected official and serve our country in Ottawa. I have a severe vision disability that makes school a challenging place, and I think that being a part of this group will allow me to share my experiences about how physical disabilities impact learning and participating in school. I also understand the perspective of many students who feel there is no place for them in traditional school activities and events, and who feel marginalized and unheard. I want schools to be inclusive and supportive communities that value the unique talents and contributions of everyone, and that reflect the diversity of students in the programs and choices they offer.


Alina, A., Grade 11, Kingston

Alina, A., Grade 11, Kingston

As a youth in Ontario, I believe in the potential we, as students, possess in creating the change we desire in our communities. This change, leadership and empowerment starts within the education system, which I believe should meet the needs of students within all demographics and paths. This change should enable growth that is not just limited to a desk and chair, but extends to the world outside the classroom. As Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” I believe that the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC) gives students the voice they need to express opinions they are passionate about, and enables youth to contribute to the future success and progression of the greater community, especially in education. I look forward to hearing other perspectives and input on topics at MSAC this year, and contributing my own as well!


Anika Ines B., Grade 11, Ottawa

Anika Ines B., Grade 11, Ottawa

Hello! My name is Anika and I am currently a Grade 11 student in Ottawa. I am passionate about ensuring that student voices are heard and am very eager to work with other students from around Ontario. I am very involved with my school’s Student Council and have recently been elected as a Student Senator, representing my school at the board level. I believe that the most meaningful change arises when people work collectively, and this is why I applied to be a part of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council. For too long, the opinions and voices of young people in society have been overlooked and I believe that it is important for students to stand up for what they believe in because we CAN make a difference, whether it be in our communities or in our world.


Anne H., Grade 11, Ottawa

Anne H., Grade 11, Ottawa

Hi, I am Anne: I am a student from Ottawa, proud Franco-Ontarian and I can’t wait to take part in the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC). In my school I try to get involved as much as I can as a member of several committees, Vice-President of the students’ council, senator on my school board, contact person of the Fédération de la jeunesse Franco-Ontarienne (FESFO) or simply as a student. I submitted my name for the MSAC for several reasons. First, I want to talk about the difficulties Francophone schools and students face in Ontario. I would also like to talk of the importance of arts education in Ontario schools. Each school should have enough resources to encourage the students who want to express themselves through art, so that they can invest in their school environment. I can’t wait to work with the other youth in Ontario to talk about the issues of interest to us.


Ken, S., Grade 12, Ottawa

Ken, S., Grade 12, Ottawa

I wanted to become a member of the council because I believe that the youth I want to represent have an important voice to bring in their learning. As an involved member of my community, I understand the challenges associated with accessing a high-quality education while living in community-based housing; that is why I actively try to improve learning conditions in these communities, and I am sure that the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC) will play a key role. Fighting discrimination against racial, ethnic or sexual minorities in the school environment is also an issue that is very important to me, as well as the adaptation and integration of recent immigrants and refugees. I am convinced that the public school system can be an environment where all can prosper and it is to pursue this ideal that I want to be part of the MSAC.


Nicholas R., Grade 12, Ottawa

Nicholas R., Grade 12, Ottawa

I applied to the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC) because I strongly believe in the importance of literacy skills. It has been shown that low literacy skills are linked to poverty, poor health and high unemployment. For the past two years I worked with an organization called Frontier College to help kids learn numeracy and literacy skills and help them integrate into society. At these sessions, the kids are able to develop the required literacy skills to learn and grow. Throughout this time I have seen firsthand how difficult it can be for a student to achieve success while not having the proper literacy skills. Everyone has the right to learn. As a member of MSAC, I will continue to advocate for the importance of literacy skills and try and ensure that all students have access to the proper resources.


Tehaienkwarentos (Tanka) T., Grade 12, Akwesasne

Tehaienkwarentos (Tanka) T., Grade 12, Akwesasne

Hi my name is Tehaienkwarentos and I am Bear Clan of the Mohawk Nation of Akwesasne. I am currently enrolled in Grade 12 in Cornwall, Ontario. I am an outgoing student who is involved in Student Council and Student Senate. I applied to be a part of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council because I have been in a leadership role for the last three years of high school and I enjoy it. I feel that because of my background I can give a different perspective on the Ontario education system based on my culture and experience. My role model growing up has always been my grandmother. She is a successful woman and consistently shows that if you put your mind to it, anything is possible. I’ve been fortunate to have worked with great mentors who have shown me how to be who I am today.


Thunder Bay Region

Jackson C., Grade 8, Keewatin

Jackson C., Grade 8, Keewatin

Hi, my name is Jackson. I am a Grade 8 Métis student from Kenora. I love to play sports and hang out with my friends. I enjoy minor hockey and school sport leagues. My favourite subject at school is math. I am considering being a high school teacher and I am interested in learning more about Ontario’s education system. I joined the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC) to help make a difference by making sure the ministry hears from students in Northern Ontario. I would also like to ensure that public education offers help and opportunities for every student and meets them wherever they are at. I feel that it is important that students get a chance to provide input on their education. I am looking forward to meeting students from all over Ontario on the MSAC.


Angeline R., Grade 9, Fort Frances

Angeline R., Grade 9, Fort Frances

Hi, my name is Angie and I live in a small town in Northwestern Ontario named Fort Frances. My town is very close to the Manitoba border and is in the central time zone. I currently participate in many athletics including figure skating, basketball, skiing, and track and field. I also enjoy music and science. I am excited to be a part of this year’s Minister’s Student Advisory Council. I hope that my participation will help to give a voice to Northern and rural areas, and allow me to share the unique challenges faced in small communities. I also hope that this will give me the opportunity to share my ideas with others throughout the province. I look forward to working with my fellow committee members as we attempt to make a better Ontario.


Emma H., Grade 9, Thunder Bay

Emma H., Grade 9, Thunder Bay

I wanted to be involved in the Minister’s Student Advisory Council because I feel that student voices are often not heard. This appointment allows me to have a voice and share my experiences with a Northern perspective. As a Métis youth who enjoys the arts and new experiences, I feel I will bring a unique perspective to this Council.


Toronto Region

Liam G., Grade 8, Mississauga

Liam G., Grade 8, Mississauga

My name is Liam and I live in the family-oriented city of Mississauga. I’m very excited to be part of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC), through which I can share what I experienced during my academic development. I hope to share these insights to foster prosperity and student betterment for generations to come. From my earliest years, I have been inspired by the lives of great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Pope Francis. Their thoughts and philosophies have greatly influenced how I honed my talents in public speaking and advocacy of social justice. Equality, diversity and religious inclusion are some of the other areas I am passionate about, and are important in my scholastic environment – which is a primary reason for my application to MSAC. Travel with family and friends to different parts of the world have enlightened me with a unique perspective on practical education.


Luka S., Grade 8, Oakville

Luka S., Grade 8, Oakville

I'm really excited to be a part of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council because it's important to give students a voice, so that everyone's concerns are taken into consideration, allowing them to feel safe and happy at school. My goal is to create a safer space for students, where they don't have to be scared or uncomfortable. Being a gay student, I know how hard it is for LGBTQ+ students. I have witnessed and experienced the bullying that people go through and it’s unacceptable. I applied to the MSAC because I want to stop the racism and homophobia that people are facing. I also know what it feels like to struggle in school academically because of my Individual Education Plan (IEP) and understand how it feels to be trying your hardest without succeeding. I hope that my story will inform the government to help kids excel and reach their full potential.


Sanya S., Grade 8, Guelph

Sanya S., Grade 8, Guelph

I am very excited and honoured to be a part of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council! I believe that each student has the right to inclusion and equity. I hope to be the voice of students that do not have the opportunity to raise awareness about their struggles at school. My passion for making a change in the school environment was elicited by partaking in equity-based programs. Through these clubs, I was able to educate my school community about global issues, as well as, ignite enthusiasm to make a change in the world. I was also able to experience the true bliss of extending a hand to those who were not able to extend their own. Through MSAC, and along with my peers, I hope to aid students in recognizing their ability to change the education system, giving them the wings to support them through their flight of life.


Alice C., Grade 9, Oakville

Alice C., Grade 9, Oakville

As a Grade 9 pre-International Baccalaureate student, my experiences with different school boards, programs, and classes led me to understand the most important aspect of school life: a positive community. I’m incredibly grateful to the supportive teachers who encouraged me to go beyond my comfort zones and who helped me pursue my passions for debate and math. At school, I’m an executive of the debate team, a member of the DECA club, and public speaking club. Outside of school, I am involved in entrepreneurial competitions and music. My goal as a member of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council is to represent students who want to enrich their experiences in high school through encouraging extracurricular activities, finding more flexible ways to learn, and breaking the stigma surrounding mental health.. With communication and discussion, I hope to paint a better picture of the everyday experiences of high school students in Ontario.


Ayana S., Grade 9, Mississauga

Ayana S., Grade 9, Mississauga

As a curious young high school student, I aspire to use my voice to create a positive, tangible difference in my community. In 2016, I was a Page at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and learned about the value of being a leader and supporting others in doing so. This year, I am an executive member of my school’s Student Writers’ Guild and International Baccalaureate Student League, and a part of our FIRST robotics team, Math Club, DECA and Duke of Edinburgh club.

I applied to the Minister’s Student Advisory Council because I believe in empowering youth, which starts with giving everyone equal and ample opportunities to find their own success. I look forward to working together with everyone to do my part in making schools a place where students feel respected and valued, while receiving a quality education.


Daniel O., Grade 9, Mississauga

Daniel O., Grade 9, Mississauga

Hello, I am Daniel. I am a student born and raised in Mississauga. I applied to join this year’s Minister’s Student Advisory Council because I know that there are problems that students face both physically and mentally. For example:

    • being told that you can try a course and change it if it’s too difficult, and then being told that the school is over capped
    • not being able to vote for student trustees, because an incumbent body does that for you
    • having to get referrals before you can get mental health support
    • watching as peoples’ futures are slowly jeopardized by too many policies that make life harder for students.
I believe that as a collective of young people going through our days in the school system we can make education in Ontario beyond great. Upon graduating from high school, I wish to become a corporate lawyer and own my own firm on Bay Street.


Umar Y., Grade 9, East York

Umar Y., Grade 9, East York

Hi, my name is Umar. I am currently in Grade 9 in the Toronto District School Board. I live in Toronto and my family and I immigrated to Canada in March of 2013. I am really excited to be a part of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC). I decided to apply to MSAC because I want to make Ontario’s schools better in terms of education and funding. I am very passionate about science and mathematics and want these topics to be prioritized in the Ontario curriculum. These subjects are very valuable to learn as they are what drive humans forward in the 21st century. I really hope to make a difference along with the other council members.


Jack L., Grade 10, Etobicoke

Jack L., Grade 10, Etobicoke

I applied for the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC) because I believe that it is a great opportunity to make a difference in my school community. Often I feel that student voices are not always heard, and I think that I can use my position on the council to promote ideas and address issues that may not be heard otherwise. I intend to use my experiences in various leadership roles to help make schools safe, inclusive and rewarding environments to be in. I believe that schools are vital in helping students grow and mature into independent people. With so many unique and gifted students in our province, it is very important that schools do all they can to help students develop as the leaders of the future. Overall, I hope to help students in and outside of my community and to take part in something bigger than myself.


Lex H., Grade 10, Toronto

Lex H., Grade 10, Toronto

I applied to MSAC because I would like to influence the education system. I've seen peers lose interest in school. School should be more interactive to keep students engaged. Whether it is arts, technology or sports, students would learn more if they participated in hands-on learning opportunities. Art and sport are ways I re-centre myself. I currently have a painting in the Imago Mundi Exhibition in Italy. I participate in sports including AAA baseball, track, Okichitaw martial arts and have participated in the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA), Ontario Aboriginal Summer Games (OASG) and am on Team Ontario for the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG). I volunteer to help children with special needs and canoe, hike and camp with my family. Students need to be active for physical and mental well-being. My areas of priority are student disengagement, social justice, special needs, arts and indigenous perspectives.


Rakeeb H., Grade 10, Scarborough

Rakeeb H., Grade 10, Scarborough

My name is Rakeeb and I am a pre-International Baccalaureate (IB) student in Toronto. I have always been interested in education and, in particular, student voice, in which I have been extensively involved through various student-led organizations and initiatives that I have helped lead outside of school. When not getting involved with issues I am passionate about, I love playing sports and am a Rugby 7’s and 15’s, track and field and basketball athlete. I also really enjoy playing the piano, cello and guitar. Through being part of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC), I hope to contribute my ideas and spark interest in areas of the education system I believe could be improved. These include the implementation of courses and subjects into the standardized curriculum, like financial literacy, life-saving skills and environmental sciences, but also extend to other areas.


Breana D., Grade 11, Etobicoke

Breana D., Grade 11, Etobicoke

I am an International Baccalaureate student at my high school and was previously in the extended French programme. I am an executive member on the DECA club and also the founder of the Because I am a Girl club at my high school. I applied to be a part of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC) so that I could create a more engaging learning environment for students across all grades. My goal as an MSAC member is to create a way for students to effectively share feedback with their teachers and overall create stronger relationships between teachers and students. I want to ensure that every student has the opportunity to reach their full potential. I am committed to the principle of equity and strive to create inclusive social and academic environments.


Christina A., Grade 11, Georgetown

Christina A., Grade 11, Georgetown

My name is Christina. I am a Grade 11 student in Georgetown. I have been appointed Student Trustee for the Halton Catholic District School Board, and I currently lead the Student Senate of my board. I am so excited to be a part of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC) because I believe that we the students are the biggest stakeholders of Ontario education, and that student voices must be heard. I am looking forward to conversing with likeminded individuals who also feel passionately about various aspects of our education!


Ghaid A., Grade 12, Mississauga

Ghaid A., Grade 12, Mississauga

My name is Ghaid, and I’m a university student as of September of 2017. After experiencing bullying and overcoming it, I made it one of my goals to combat bullying and make every school a safe learning environment. In addition, after noticing an explicit gender gap in my computer programming class, I started encouraging girls to pursue male-dominated fields. These two experiences are what motivated me to apply to be a part of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC). I believe that success is achieved when community leaders, educators and students collaborate to refine and make improvements in the education system. Besides being a student, I am a student-entrepreneur, a humanitarian and a competitive archer. I have started many initiatives and am involved with my school's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) club, anti-bullying initiatives, and public speaking. I am both honoured and thrilled to be a part of MSAC!