It was a bittersweet good-bye as Morden's Youth Council Member, Maja Piekarska handed out thank you gifts to her fellow council members around the Morden City Council table on the last day of August.
"My time as a youth council member, it was truly an amazing one. Throughout my term, I didn't really know what to expect. I never really took into account that I would like politics someday, but I love politics now. And I never knew that politics would be one of my career choices in the future, potentially. And so, I'm really glad that I was chosen to be the Youth Council Member for the City of Morden because it opened so many doors for me."
She shared what she was most proud of.
"It's really great being in an influential role and having the power to be the voice of the youth and help them. For example, through my event, the 'Do What You Are' series, I really wanted to make a change or inch towards change. By doing my event, I tried targeting the youth at their center, because the hardest question I feel like to answer in life is the question of who you are.
And so, by doing that event, I wanted to help the students inch towards answering that question."
Piekarska graduated in June. She learned a lot this year in her role.
"By being a youth council member, you really dip your toe into the world of politics, and it may be boring to some people, but actually, it's quite fascinating how a local government works, because there are a lot of things, I didn't know that I learned throughout my whole term. It's just a one-year term, but you learn so much by being in office, seeing people's concerns, and how the council takes that information and transforms it. It's so amazing to be in that kind of a role.”
She encouraged any youth considering applying for the role not to let anything stop you.
"It's really important the youth are heard, and it was actually an incredible opportunity for me to be that voice for the youth. Even if public speaking or anything like that is not your forté, that's okay, because everyone is different. You bring so much to the table on your own. It's going to make up for any flaws you think you have. I really strongly believe, and I encourage young people to get out there and get experience. Experience gives you leverage."
Along with experience, Piekarska learned a lot and is grateful for her time on Morden City Council, quickly adding, if she could do it again, she would.
Morden City Council is accepting applications for this year's youth council member now.
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