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Bonnyville student will represent rural youth on Minister’s Council

When it comes to having a say in provincial education programs and initiatives, a Grade 10 student from Bonnyville will share her ideas and perspectives as a rural student in northeast Alberta.
Salma Elzayat, a Grade 10 École Notre Dame High School student, will represent rural students on the Minister’s Youth Council this year.

BONNYVILLE – Bonnyville student Salma Elzayat will represent not only northeast Alberta but also rural students this year on the Minister’s Youth Council. 

Elzayat is an École Notre Dame High School (NDHS) Grade 10 student and is one of the 40 youth selected for the council. 

“It’s great to have a diverse group of students on the council, we all have different ideas backgrounds, interests, and reasons for being there,” Elzayat said. “I’m excited to share my ideas and those of my fellow students as well.” 

The Minister’s Youth Council is made up of students from across Alberta and provides insight to the government on how students feel about what is happening in the education system, including provincial programs and initiatives. 

This year, 183 junior and senior high school students from across the province put their names forward for the council.  

Elzayat learned of the youth council through former NDHS student Morgan Gillis, who spent two years as a member before graduating last year.  

“I thought it was a cool idea to have a say and speak on behalf of my classmates and other students in the area,” said Elzayat, adding she is eager to highlight the needs of schools in rural areas.  

“Schools in rural communities differ from those in urban [areas] when it comes to things like programming and other opportunities. I am excited to see what urban schools offer and what we can work towards making available in our own communities.”  

Also excited for the opportunity was Elzayat’s family. 

“My parents were really happy. It’s not something you would expect – for students to have a say in education – it really is an incredible opportunity." 

Elzayat is the third École Notre Dame High School student chosen to be on the Minister’s Youth Council. 

The first meeting for the Minister’s Youth Council is in Edmonton in October, followed by two more meetings, one virtual in February, and an in-person or virtual meeting in the spring. 

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