Peace River High student chosen for Minister's Youth Council - board celebrates Arooj Hamid in special ceremony

Peace River High student chosen for Minister's Youth Council - board celebrates Arooj Hamid in special ceremony

For immediate release
September 19, 2017-
In a special ceremony held earlier today, the Peace River School Division (PRSD) Board of Trustees celebrated Arooj Hamid, Peace River High School (PRHS) grade 12 student for being selected for the Alberta Government’s Minister’s Youth Council. The Minister’s Youth Council is a newly formed committee that serves to gather the student voice to inform Alberta’s education system and is comprised of junior and senior high students from across the province.

“We are thrilled to have Arooj represent her peers, her school, the division, the community and the province as a whole” says Kuester. “She has been a valuable member of the divisional Student Engagement Team, is actively involved in her school and community and she will serve the provincial committee well. This is an excellent opportunity and learning experience and we are very proud of Arooj.”

For two years, Arooj served on the PRSD Student Engagement Team which is comprised of high school students from PRSD schools that meet with the PRSD board of trustees twice per year to discuss educational topics. Arooj is also a member of the PRHS League of Leadership team, the Peace River Rotary Interact Club and helped to plan the Diversity Dinner last year and the Peace Salaam cultural event the year before.  Arooj is also passionate about student wellness and participated in the Healthy Active Schools Wellness symposium for two years.

When asked how she felt about being chosen for the Minister’s Youth Council, and the impact she hopes to make, Arooj shared the following:

“I am really excited to serve on the council” says Arooj. “I look forward to being involved in conversations that lead to positive changes in the education system. Knowledge is power and education is very important to me. This was instilled in me by my parents and family.”

Learning strategies, curriculum, proactive approaches to workload in the early ages, and student wellness are some topics that Arooj hopes to bring forth and discuss with fellow council members and government representatives.

In order to be selected for the council, interested students from across Alberta submitted applications and those shortlisted were interviewed by the Alberta Education Student Engagement Management Branch.  A total of 232 applications were submitted and 32 Alberta students were chosen to sit on the committee.

During the special ceremony, Board Chair Darren Kuester extended the boards congratulations and shared comments provided by her school principal Mark Owens:

“Mr. Owens shared that he feels you will be an excellent asset to the provincial committee because you bring a wealth of experience being involved in leadership in the school, community and division” shared Kuester. “He says you are not afraid to speak your mind, you stand up for what you believe in and are not afraid to ask questions when you don’t understand.”

Kuester also shared comments from Linda Stevens who serves as PRHS’s Project PEACE Success Coach:

“Mrs. Stevens says that your leadership experience through a variety of initiatives allow you to hear directly from students about their needs which will be very valuable on the provincial committee. She also shared that you are persistent, able to voice your thoughts and perspectives and will be able to carry the perspectives of other students to the provincial advisory level.”

During the ceremony, Arooj was also presented with a certificate and pen from Ada Lovmo who attended the ceremony representing the Honourable Debbie Jabbour, Deputy Speaker and Peace River MLA. Following the ceremony, Arooj and her family joined the board of trustees and PRSD management staff for a celebratory luncheon.

Arooj will attend her first set of council meetings from September 29 to October 2, 2017 in Edmonton. 

Top left: Arooj Hamid and Board Chair Darren Kuester
Top right:Arooj with her parents and grandmothers
Middle:Arooj with her school prinicpal Mark Owens
Bottom:Arooj with Ada Lovmo from the Honourable Debbie Jabbour's office