This post is part of The Edmonton Do Gooder Project, a series of profiles on Edmonton folks doing good in creative ways. This year’s Do Gooders were identified through a people’s choice-style process as part of The Good 100 Experiment in June of 2013, an event co-hosted by The Savvy Do Gooder and The Local Good. The 2013 profiles have been generously created by Breanna of The Local Good using a format based on the Charting Impact 5 Questions.
Claire Edwards is a first-year political science student at the University of Alberta whose project Student Voice Alberta aims to establish the position of elected Student Trustees on every local school board in the province.
1. What is the good result you are hoping to create?
I want to get youth engaged in and learning about politics now so that they care about voting when they are the legal voting age. It’s hard for youth to understand why they should care about politics when they can’t even vote and when they feel the government doesn’t represent or care about their interests and I think this leads to voter apathy when they grow into adults. Likewise, when students don’t hear about other students taking initiative they can fall in to the trap of thinking apathy and a lack of engagement is just ‘how all students are’. They aren’t motivated or inspired to attempt to put their big ideas into action because they think they don’t have a voice, or don’t have any idea how to start their project. I hope my project will also inspire students to take initiative by creating a network for students to reach out and get connected and share resources and ideas with each other and their student trustees.
2. What is your approach for making this happen?
I’ve been working with Sarah Hofmann, Trustee and Board Chair for Edmonton Public Schools in Ward G on a proposal about this project that we will be presenting to the Edmonton Public School Board in the fall. The trustee vote on our proposal will determine whether student trustees will be added to the board, and then we will implement the plan for election process of these trustees. I just took a chance to reach out to Sarah, who I hadn’t met before starting this project, and she’s been so great to work with. There’s been a lot of support for this project from the current board, but there will be different people sitting on the board after the