A North Battleford Comprehensive High School student is on her way to Ottawa.
Fifteen-year-old Hailey Stone will head to the nation’s capital after being accepted as one of the 2019 Carriers of Hope for the upcoming Raised Voices Youth Education Policy Forum. The three-day forum looks to provide a platform for 36 First Nations youth from across the country to come together and discuss issues they face in education.
Stone, who is in Grade 10, said the application process involved either writing an essay or submitting a video on why she is a positive role model in the community. She elected to write an essay, detailing why she should be selected for the forum.
Despite missing the initial phone call from the facilitator of the program, Stone said she sensed she was chosen to go.
“My heart started racing, (I felt my) eyes filled with tears of joy, and I started shaking with excitement. I wanted to scream and celebrate in that moment; it was such an amazing time for me. I couldn’t believe it.”
When the news finally got out, it was all praise for the student.
“I got so many texts and calls from my relatives saying how amazing it will be, and what I’ve been achieving lately,” she said.
In Ottawa, the teenager is most excited to learn from those around her, share her perspective on policies, and be the centre of conversation on how to change and create a better system for her people.
“What I want to do is try to change, and make it better for First Nations people,” she said. “Really do something with our education, to make it better for us.”
Stone is focusing on learning new things and getting her voice out there. She said she wants to deliver feedback on her perspective on several education issues.
The three days consist of students from the entire nation learning and talking about different issues in the education system, before speaking and presenting their findings with leaders, policymakers and other allies.
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