Kayla Brent, a Francis Kelsey Secondary School student, spent a day at the Legislature with me last week. She is an extraordinary young woman who is a leader in school and community. These are her reflections on our inspiring day together.
After watching Sonia speak at the all-candidates meeting last spring, I had full confidence that I would be supporting her in the provincial election. With her passion for the issues, devotion to our community, and clear thought that went into each word that she spoke, this commitment was by no means a difficult one to make. Following her successful journey to the Legislature, I was thrilled and finally believed that we’d be headed in the right political direction as the necessary changes would be made in our province regarding environmental action.
This opinion has yet to subside, and since seizing the amazing chance to shadow Sonia last Wednesday, has only improved further.
Walking through the doors of the Legislature that morning, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The life of an MLA following their election was completely unknown to me. I knew what I wanted to see; genuineness, evident progress, and of course a prevailing sense of shameless idealism that I had always admired in Green Party members. Although I wasn’t exactly sure whether this would be what I encountered or not, I certainly wasn’t surprised when I did.
During each meeting, each discussion, and each committee session, I witnessed Sonia as I had seen her at the all candidates meeting last spring; dedicated, informed, and considerate. While learning the procedure and day to day life of being an MLA, I also had the privilege of becoming more widely informed on crucial issues, inspiring me to further my own advocacy and engagement back home in the Cowichan Valley. We chatted about many topics throughout the day, all of which were incredibly relevant and provided me with a deeper understanding of myself and the world I was surrounded by. We discussed the nature and benefits of youth empowerment, and what signifies a strong leader, along with how we could transform public awareness of the issue of climate change to actions towards its reduction. Every part of the day was inspiring.
Now at home, faced once again with my beloved school work, I can see this day as a turning point in my life. The lessons I learned from Sonia and the motivation I gathered from her own excellency are matters that are sure to stick with me far into the future. We should all be incredibly thankful to have someone such as Sonia representing us in the Legislature.