Lloydminster’s representative in the Saskatchewan Youth Council is bringing the council’s ideas to local politicians.
Nate Bergen sat down with MLA Colleen Young and MP Rosemarie Falk to discuss his experiences as a part of the council.
“Our young people have strong ideas that they want to share with us as adults and don’t know how to go about it and don’t know who is in their camp to advocate on their behalf. My job is to support him and advocate to the minister and government in regards to any ideas and thoughts they bring forward,” says Young.
Bergen joined the youth council in October along with eleven other students from across Saskatchewan. The council has had one in-person meeting and several meetings online to discuss the provincial education system.
Bergen says the group is motivated to bring their ideas to the government.
“The whole youth council said they want this to be a real youth council and not just a symbol where we don’t do anything. We want to be out there and show that we exist and be where we can help.”
Bergen says the experience has helped him learn about different perspectives when it comes to issues in the education system as the council members come from different parts of the province. The three issues they want to focus on are mental health, culture and teacher staff availability.
“At the next meeting, we hope to really dive deep into those three topics and see how they affect every aspect of a students school life and a teachers school life.”
Another issue Bergen hopes to work on during his time on council is increasing financial literacy within students. Young approves of the idea as the current economy is at a low point.
“As we know the downturn in the economy has changed the way people do their finances from today compared to six years ago when the economy was strong. We’ve seen a shift in how people need to understand and learn about finances and how to manage themselves.”
Young says another aspect that the council will be helping build is the provincial curriculum design.
“This youth council, as well as the curriculum advisory team, are part of bringing a contribution to what the new curriculum will look like in the province. I think it’s important that we do hear from our students and our youth of today where they want to see the future of education.”
Young hopes more students get involved and learn about the political system in their provinces and in the country which she says the input will help the future of both. The Provincial Youth Council will meet again on February 1.