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News Release: FMPSD Students Represent Fort McMurray on Minister’s Youth Council

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News Release: FMPSD Students Represent Fort McMurray on Minister’s Youth Council

(Fort McMurray, AB, September 2, 2020) Fort McMurray Public School Division (FMPSD) congratulates Seham Ahmed, Disen Kottage and Fareedah Sadek (photo below) on being named to the Education Minister’s Youth Advisory Council. They are the only students to be selected from our region! Seham and Disen are from Westwood Community High School, and Fareedah attends École McTavish High School. 



The Minister’s Youth Council (MYC) consists of 41 junior and senior high students from across Alberta. The group’s goal is to have "students provide input on initiatives that impact their educational experiences." This is Fareedah and Seham’s second year on the Council.

For Seham, 15, who is in grade 10, the pandemic was a reason to return to the MYC. 

“It changed my global outlook, and enabled me to work on ideas I tabled during the post-pandemic scenario to maintain the gradual learning with a lesser impact on my studies. Working with different leaders helped me sharpen my leadership skills. It has also helped me to understand the decision-making protocols and risk-reward ratio for a greater cause. MYC is an excellent platform to motivate and engage youth in engagement sessions, outline ideas, and running short-span projects.”

“I have been advocating for focused learnings on IT (specific to AI: Artificial Intelligence) and entrepreneurship studies since I joined MYC. AI to begin from middle school and entrepreneurship from junior high, and it is based on my research about the accomplishments by CANADARM (series of robotic arms that were used on the Space Shuttle orbiters to deploy, maneuvre, and capture payloads) and RIM (Research in Motion),” Seham added. 

Fareedah, 15, a grade 11 student was “eager to try again and see what more I could learn.”

“I learned a lot about leadership and when and how it comes into play as well as so much about Alberta curriculum and schooling, which was really interesting. I’m hoping to take a deeper dive into all of these topics as well as learn from new members, my main takeaway always. I’m super excited for another year of MYC and am really looking forward to it even if it might be online.”

Disen, 17 is in grade 12. He applied for the Council for many reasons, but two stand out.

“I want to develop my leadership skills further and positively give back to Alberta's education system by voicing my views.”

“Additionally, I want to learn about and share unique perspectives with students from across the province; by doing so, I aim to build valuable relationships and strengthen my social skills. Plus, I want to further understand how the provincial government works when it comes to education and contribute to helping improve our education system. I encourage all students who want to help make a change in Alberta's educational system to also apply to the MYC,” Disen added. 

Westwood Principal, Cynthia Shelley congratulated all three students. 

“We are thrilled to have Westwood students on the group. This is the fourth year that Westwood has had a student representative at the Minister's Youth Council. This also marks the third year in a row that Westwood has actually had two active participants on this panel each year. We continue to support students in sharing their voice for school and system improvement through several bodies, at the school, Division and provincial levels. We are so very proud of Disen, Seham and Fareedah.”

“It is great to have Fareedah on the Minister's Youth Council. She is a great advocate for our students, and those around the province. A strong voice for all, she is an excellent student with a bright future. It is an honour as a school to have a representative on the panel again this year. Congratulations to Fareedah, Disen, and Seham. We look forward to the impact you will have both in our Division and around the province,” noted Scott Barr, Principal, École McTavish High School.

Jennifer Turner, Superintendent, FMPSD congratulated all the students. 

“This is advocacy and leadership in action. We are proud of Seham, Disen and Fareedah for stepping up, and lending their voice to this important group. I look forward to hearing about their experiences.”

Council members will attend three meetings this year. 

Congratulations students!

For more information, please contact:

Kiran Malik-Khan

Communications Manager

Fort McMurray Public School Division

W: 780-788-8009

C: 780-880-7666