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GNS Student Participates in BC Youth Parliament

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Grade 11 student Solomon Yi-Kieran had a great experience during the winter break as he had the opportunity to participate in the British Columbia Youth Parliament (BCYP). This is the 93rd session of the BCYP, which is a youth-run organization that promotes youth service in the community. 

“It’s a great opportunity to do service and to meet new people and to learn how the government works,” he said. “I wanted to join because I like politics and am fairly familiar with parliamentary procedure, and it seemed like a great way to meet new people who share a similar interest. Also, being able to be involved in the various service opportunities.” 

Usually, the 97 youth aged 16 to 21 would travel to the BC Parliament Buildings for a five-day simulation of the Westminster Parliamentary System, legislate bulls that govern the organization’s community service projects for the remainder of the year, hear from speakers, and engage in social activities. This year, however, the session was done virtually. 

“It went pretty well, there was a fair amount of stuff we ended up doing,” said Solomon. “We still got a lot of the full experience, just not being able to sit in parliament and the face-to-face aspect of it.” 

Next, Solomon will be able to take part in a wide range of volunteer opportunities as well as regional parliaments, which he hopes to be part of this year, and then try to get into the running in the next session. 

The process to apply for the BCYP was time-consuming, Solomon said, but well worth the effort. In addition to filling out an application, he had to find an organization willing to sponsor him and write a personal statement. 

“It was great knowing that I got in, and super exciting,” he said. “It’s been a great experience and the regional youth parliaments are something people should look into trying out because it’s a great way to learn about politics, debate and public speaking.”