Local change-maker takes her passion to the province

Twin Lakes student one of 60 Ontario students to serve on Minister’s Student Advisory Council

Arlana BickellArlana Bickell wants to help move education forward, to challenge students to take an active part in their education and to help educators see students from a different perspective. She took this passion for change and brought it all the way to the Ministry of Education as a member of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council.

Arlana is one of 60 students from across the province who were selected for the council. She and her peers share their ideas and offer advice to the Minister of Education to ensure that the Ontario school system stays engaging for students.

“I decided to apply to the Student Advisory Council because I felt I had a lot to share—my experiences and challenges as a First Nation student, my enthusiasm for student participation in their education, and my desire to help educators and student to work together,” says Arlana. “I was very excited when I found out I was selected to be on the committee, but I was also nervous. It’s a lot of responsibility!”

Arlana has been sharing her experiences with the council. She has offered insights on First Nation, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) education from a student perspective.

“Not only have we discussed FNMI curriculum, but I’ve shared my thoughts on FNMI student support needs, the important role of elders, cultural teachings and learning, and preserving FNMI languages.”

As part of the council, Arlana participated in the Open Space Technology Forum, which focused on topics that affect education across Ontario. She took part in a three-day conference at the Ontario Educational Leadership Centre (OELC), and was involved in a teleconference to provide input on FNMI curriculum.

Arlana knows that all students can be leaders.

“Often, it’s the well-spoken students who represent the majority who get heard. I want to encourage all students to get involved in their schools and their communities.”

She has the following advice for her fellow students: “Be active in your school—get involved in sports, student council, committees, clubs, or anything that grabs your interest. Be a positive voice—share ideas and experiences. Have the courage to stand up for your beliefs, and inspire others to achieve success.”

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