Canada/August 15, 2020/By: Brigette Moore/ Source:https://www.whitecourtstar.com
A 17-year-old Whitecourt student will be a voice for her peers and rural students after being selected to be on the Alberta education minister’s youth council.
Maddy Martell, a soon-to-be Grade 12 student at Hilltop High School, will be one of 41 students from across Alberta sharing her voice on education issues.
“I’m excited to share my opinions on the matters that could change my future education and my peer’s education,” said Martell.
Students on the council serve a 10-month term that aligns with the school year and attend three meetings. The Alberta council’s students are from both urban and rural areas.
“Having a voice, especially for a small town is really important.” Said Martell.
Sharing her opinion, isn’t something new to the local student. Martell has been on the Town of Whitecourt youth advisory committee for three years.
“I thought it would be interesting to have a voice in my town. I’ve never met anyone who was able to do that,” she said about why she joined the local advisory.
The experience has opened her eyes to the world of politics. She said it’s one thing to read about governance but it’s a different experience to actually be part of it.
Martell knows she wants to persue a career in politics but isn’t sure what field. One area that is interesting to her is foreign affairs.
Earlier this year, before the pandemic hit, she travelled to Ottawa for a political-themed camp as part of the Forum for Young Canadians program. She learned about trade agreements, foreign affairs and was able to sit in on a House of Commons question period.
She has also met political leaders and worked with students fro across Canada through the Encounters with Canada program and through the Whitecourt Rotary Club.
Martell is also an active youth in Whitecourt. Along with serving on the youth advisory committee through which she volunteers for many events such as Party in the Park, she works part-time and volunteers with the local community threatre group Pumpjack Players.
In school, Martell is on the curling team and part of the Dungeons and Dragons group.
It was her principal, Brent Northcott, who told her about the Alberta education minister’s youth council.
“Maddy is a very engaged student. She was our Student of the Year for high school last year,” said Northcott in a notice posted on the Northern Gateway Public Schools website.
“We are excited to have her represent rural Alberta and Northern Gateway. She has good opinions and will do well at the minister’s table,” he added.
Martell, who has lived in Whitecourt her entire life, said she is honoured to be able to represent her school, the school division and rural students at a provincial level.
“I have learned how a youth’s point of view can be important,” she said.
There were 138 junior and senior high students across Alberta who applied to the council. Martel was one of 64 students interviewed by ministerial staff and is now one of 41 students chosen to be on the council.
In order to offer the best representation she can on the council, Maddy plans to engage in conversations with as many people as she can.
“I find it easy to talk to people so if I really need an opinion on a view I will go up to people,” she said. “It’s about being able to be open enough to see each different opinion and go up to people you might not talk to otherwise and ask them what their honest opinion is.”
Docente - Investigadora Educativa.
Doctora en Cs. de la Educación, Magíster en Desarrollo Curricular y Licenciada en Relaciones Industriales.