Volunteer work is a huge part of Lester B. Pearson High School and its student council. I have spent my last year of high school more involved with my school than I’ve ever been because of student council and the opportunities it has given me. This year, I helped coordinate and build a haunted house for the students in our school to enjoy during Halloween, I helped coordinate the sale of school spirit-wear and graduation apparel, sold concessions to students during lunch hours, guided new and curious students through our school during our open house, decorated our school during the holiday season, and helped set up a space for our student coffee house. I’ve also participated in CTV’s Spirit of Giving campaign, packing and sorting donated goods from across the EMSB to give to the less fortunate during the month of December. This experience was very humbling and one of the many that I’ve participated in that directly impacted not only our school, but the community around it. Another amazing project that I am involved in is the English Montreal Student Advisory Committee (EMSAC) where students in leadership roles and executive members throughout the EMSB meet to discuss trending topics and their possible implications with student life in our system.
All this work was accomplished with common goals in mind: to make our school and student life more pleasurable for all those in our building and to engage and encourage more students to be involved in doing the same. The more people working towards a goal, the more rewarding it is to see the end result.
None of the work I’ve done during the year was accomplished alone. I’ve worked with a number of equally eager students and assisting advisors to make every project one that we can be proud of. It is truly amazing to leave a long lasting mark on your school and it is so inspiring to see that our advisors trust us and empower us to do so. That is why I believe more students should get involved in their schools and communities: we have the power to change the things we don’t like and make a positive impact on the people in our lives. It is very easy for people to complain about something that bothers them, like the way their school or neighbourhood looks, for example. To those people I say, “why don’t you do something about it?” Instead of pouring out negativity, why not reach out to others and see what can be done to make the right change?
I have made a vow to myself to continue to contributing to my community and its improvement by working with the skills that my volunteer work has taught me. I will always do everything in my power to fight for what is just, and to encourage others to do the same.
By making all the right decisions, leading others towards positive change and always speaking out for what we believe, we can learn to be fearless when working to make the changes we believe in and want to see in ourselves and all around us.
Emma is a Vice President of Lester B. Pearson High School’s student council and a member of the English Montreal School Board’s Student Advisory Committee. She is in secondary 5.