Vincent Massey High School’s student council members attended the the Canadian Student Leadership Conference in Weyburn, Sask., last month. Back row: Zaina Bird, left, Tara VanCauwenberghe, Kirby Penner, Praise Adetundimu and Navdeep Kaur. Front row: Agnieszka Desjardins, left, Mona Zhang and student council president Chuka Obijiaku. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
With a student council of six executives and 19 representatives, Vincent Massey High School’s student body is being led by an enthusiastic bunch.
Grade 11 student, Tara VanCauwenberghe is the current pep squad rep and has been involved with student council since Grade 5.
"I really like organizing stuff and planning events to help the school become a better place to be … a happy place and a fun place because we want kids to enjoy school," VanCauwenberghe said.
VanCauwenberghe was one of six Vincent Massey students who attended the Canadian Student Leadership Conference in Weyburn, Sask. last month.
"Oh my gosh it was so much fun," she said. "It was honestly life-changing because you’re around so many amazing people, from all over Canada, and I met so many nice people that I still keep in touch with … We share ideas between us of what our schools are doing."
Right on the heels of the national conference, Vincent Massey, along with Crocus Plains and Neelin high schools hosted the Manitoba Student Leadership Conference this month at CFB Shilo.
Two hundred participants from 23 different schools attended the two-day event.
"It was a truly amazing experience," said Agnieszka Desjardins, student council adviser at Vincent Massey.
One of the goals, Desjardins said, is to put Manitoba on the map at the national level.
"Manitoba is not represented in the high numbers as it should be," she said. "Our main mission for MSLC was to take pride in our province, so students would see how important this is to develop leadership, to network with other students from across the province and to apply things to their school that they’re able to do."
VanCauwenberghe said leadership events can help students greatly throughout their high school years.
"It’s awesome because it shows people you don’t have to be scared to be yourself," she said. "Everyone there was so enthusiastic and so happy all the time … you can just be yourself."
Grade 12 student Myunggu Yang, vice-president of Vincent Massey’s student council, is looking forward to planning all kinds of school events this year, including a talent show, dodgeball tournament and fundraisers.
"Students want other students that are involved in student council to actually do the events instead of teachers," Yang said.
Yang said one of the roles of the student council is to make sure students in all grades feel welcome in the school.
"That’s why we do the Grade 9 orientation, just so they can feel more involves in the school and they feel comfortable around us," he said.
Desjardins said student councils are "essential to the environment and atmosphere" of a school.
"Students need to have a voice and to make their voice heard," she said. "So by having a student council, especially when the advisors can step back and let students run the show, it is very important."
Chuka Obijiaku is Vincent Massey’s student council president. Other members of the executive include Zaina Bird, Mona Zhang, Praise Adetundimu and Navdeep Kaur.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 26, 2012