Island youth selected for Parliament visit

Support needed to make trip a reality

LITTLE CURRENT—Alexandria (Ali) Cosby of Little Current has been selected to the Forum for Young Canadians, a program through the Foundation for the Study of Processes of Government in Canada which aims to foster an understanding among young Canadians of the role and function of Canada’s democratic government.

“For over 35 years, The Foundation for the Study of Processes of Government in Canada has devoted itself to fostering leadership skills in young Canadians—to demystifying the political process and helping smart students get their voices heard,” explains the organization’s website. “Through its various programs—including The Forum for Young Canadians, its flagship program—the foundation provides youth ages 15 – 19 with first-hand access to the minds, the procedures and the energy of Parliament Hill. It also creates a community among the like-minded leaders of tomorrow.”

Ali will be participating in the program from Sunday, March 2 to Friday, March 7 in Ottawa, engaging in educational activities and learning about government.

“I will be sitting in on sessions of Parliament, dining with the MPs and touring Rideau Hall,” explained the Grade 10 Manitoulin Secondary School student. “I’m really excited about this opportunity.”

Ali shared that she originally wanted to apply for the student senate, but due to her age was unable to. With the help of her guidance counsellor, she learned of the Forum for Young Canadians and applied.

“I’ve always found the history of politics really intriguing,” said Ali, “and I wanted to learn more about Parliament and politics in general. I want to make a difference in my community and one day, possibly, my country.”

During her trip, Ali will also have the opportunity to network with other students across the country, as well as with politicians and become more comfortable with a second language. The students will also “translate the skills they’ve learned into real community action,” the website states.

The cost of the program is $1,000, with the intent of the organization that participants will fundraise for the necessary funds to take part.

“I have raised just over half the funds I need, so I’m reaching out to the Island community for anyone else who can support me,” she urged. “Any donation would be appreciated and tax receipts will be provided by the organization.”

Anyone wishing to learn more about the program can visit www.forum.ca, or to sponsor Ali call 705-368-3540 or email manitoulin_33@hotmail.com.

Robin Burridge