Gorick Ng:

Ontario’s such a diverse province with so many people coming from all these different backgrounds with so many perspectives to share. And once you put them into a room for half an hour and get them discussing, you realize that we as students have a lot more commonalities that we really didn’t realize before.

Soyinka Reid:

Solutions that work for my school in Brampton can help and benefit my friend who goes to school in Ottawa.

Stephen Hepburn:

The schools do have a lot of leaders within them. And these leaders just need something to spark an initiative and they will take over and do great things in Ontario’s schools.

Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Education:

The students on my Minister’s Advisory Council are here to have the opportunity to share ideas about their own schools, their own student initiatives, to further appreciate the diversity in their group, to develop their own leadership skills. And to get some ideas to take back to their own schools. If we’re going to make good policy decisions at the Ministry of Education, it’s really vital that we have an idea of what students are thinking, what they are experiencing and that we hear their voice.

Olivia Di Giammarino:

It’s so important for students to voice their opinions because we suddenly become more than just a student number. And we become more than just a photo in a yearbook or a face in a hallway. We become a student with a voice and a leader. And we become the change that we want to see in our own communities.

Soyinka Reid:

We’re coming at it from our first-hand experience because it’s things that we deal with every day. And that’s going to be a different opinion than you hear from a parent council or a group of professionals who haven’t been to school in a long time.

Alison Vicrobeck:

And I think that this is the best way to understand future generations who will have the same experiences. And we want to make sure that if we didn’t like something, that they won’t have to experience the same thing.

Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Education:

What’s happening here is we’ve got a whole bunch of adults who have put energy and time into planning an opportunity for kids to take part, and they are. And it’s flourishing.

Soyinka Reid:

It’s empowering to know that my opinion counts.

Patrick Harrison:

Adults really have an interest in what we, as students, are saying. And we are really able to make a difference. We are able to make things change.

Gorick Ng:

If you walk down a typical high school hallway and you take a student, a lot of them would tell you that they don’t have a voice or they’re not involved in the decision-making process. But after being here on MSAC for a couple of days, you realize that students do have much more of a voice than you’d originally imagined.

Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Education:

Kids have ideas, they want to be heard. And if we provide the right environment for them, they will talk to us. And so that’s what’s being reinforced for me today.

Emmett Bisbee:

We had 600 ideas from before and now we have 9 big ones.

Soyinka Reid:

I enjoyed everything about being in the council.

Clarisse Schneider:

I really think that this is going to make a difference.

Olivia Di Giammarino:

We are all just – we all want change to come and that it’s happening.