Ward 8

IMG-20170421-WA0003.jpgName: Shehaam Makhdoom

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I am a Grade 11 student currently attending Oakridge Secondary School. I consider myself to be a highly motivated and hardworking individual; all tasks I embark on get done with precision and care. I love baking and currently have my own business, and I also take part in certain school clubs; over the last few years, I have been active within the Council for the Gifted, Bright and Talented and Muslim Student Association, amongst others. Some of the skills that I bring to the table are my organizational, communication, and time management abilities. I also enjoy working with different types of people and working as a leader to help a team execute tasks smoothly and effectively.

Why do you want to be a youth councillor?

I want to take advantage of the opportunity to stand as youth councillor because this platform will allow me to serve and give back to the community that I care for so dearly. Another reason for my interest is that I believe that I can engage with and provide a voice for the youth who need it. I support the notion of shared decision-making and advocate to improve the outcomes of the various issues that my community faces. In the past, the LYAC has brought about real change, and it would be my privilege to be a part of the action.

Identify three community issues that you find important:

Mental Health: Mental health is greatly affected during adolescence; it is a time full of stress and change, with new challenges at every turn. There is pressure to have friends, to perform well in school, and to be a well-rounded individual by participating in multiple extracurricular activities. A major concern is that many youth do not possess the knowledge and experience they need to deal with these daily stresses. If they get overwhelmed, negative effects include depression, self-injury, and isolation; without a stable support system, it can be quite easy to succumb to these effects. I would like to work with people first-hand in creating a support system that they can utilize and benefit from.

Drug Use: Adolescents have found easier access to drugs in recent years. The use of drugs has a detrimental impact, both on the neurological and emotional development of teenagers. The consequences of drugs use range from decrease in academic ability and effort, to emotional issues such as anxiety or depression. Another issues with drugs, is that if someone becomes addicted to an illicit substance, stopping its use will become painful and mentally draining. Teenagers whose lives have been affected by drug abuse need to be educated through resources available in the community. I believe that easily-accessible, strategically located youth groups could provide the outlet that many youth need to be able to reach out for different kinds of help and support.

Youth in Poverty: Poverty can have detrimental effects on a teen’s development; it comes with many disadvantages and usually makes it quite difficult to set up a stable future. Children living in poverty can lack resources which can lead to poor skill development and less than optimal educational skills. The lack of these resources can result in significant long term effects on any individual. I believe that this issue needs to be brought into the spotlight as many people our age are unaware of what certain families go through on a daily basis in order to make ends meet and how it can impact certain children and youth. I would like to help build bridges that will allow for these affected teenagers to access the tools they need to better support themselves and build a healthy and promising future.

You can contact Shehaam by:

ruben.pngName: Ruben Gomez

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I’m from South America, I moved here when I was 6. At age 11 I was enrolled in the Air Cadet program. I’ve been in that program for 5 years. I have excelled greatly with in it, I have achieved the top cadet withing my level (top cadet) for two year straight in level 3 and 4 and within those years I have gotten the standford award. I always participate in any activities that I am given to teach or learn from.

Why do you want to be a Youth Councillor?

Moeez Tahir a good friend of mine who has been in the youth council before said I’d make an excellent candidate. I am here because I want to help people. Moez gave me an Idea on how I am able to do that. If I am to be accepted then I’ll do everything I can to help the voices of the community be heard and listened to.

Identify three community issues you find important:

Within my ward there are a few things I’d like to see change. I know a lot of students that go to this area, but a lot of them don’t see the importance of attending school or learning. “There is no point bro, I’d rather go get high instead of being here. They don’t teach anything useful any way” I had a friend say that to me the other day. Like her there are other students that don’t care and that has to change because the only way a community can thrive is if there are students who know the importance of knowledge.

Another issue I see all the time is clubs undermining each other. I have played both football and rugby withing my school, my team mates are always bashing other clubs, like computer, chess team, etc. Then it increase to bullying and that’s unfortunate acceptable. It has gone both ways though, a robotics member was picking on a Jr. Rugby player pushing him around. There is a lot of stigma about all clubs I just want to make sure that they are all accepted and the bullying stops.

A big issue that I see sometimes is minor vandalism, like throwing eggs at houses, kids jumping over fences and then accidentally breaking them. Trash left around the streets, garbage bins knocked over. These are a few things I want to change because it’s not polite, it cost the community money fix things or clean up, and it looks like we don’t care about the community.

You can find Ruben on:

LRM_EXPORT_20170419_224036.jpgName: Charlie Liu

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I am a grade 11 student attending Oakridge Secondary School. I immigrated to Canada at a young age and I am fluent in both English and Chinese. I have been in the Royal Canadian Army Cadets for nearly 4 years and currently hold the rank of Sergeant. I have won multiple awards in the program. Also I am heavily involved in the Oakridge Secondary School music department, performing with many ensembles and leading one. I believe myself to be hardworking, responsible, dedicated, outgoing, and dependable.

Why do you want to be a Youth Councillor?

I want to make a difference and an impact in my community and I believe that this is a great opportunity for me to do so. I want to be an advocate for those in need and uplift others. I believe in the rights of the people and equality for all. I aspire to be a good citizen and leader. And as such, empower other youth to have a better understanding and appreciation of our rights and responsibilities as citizens of this country. If elected I will perform my duties to the best of my ability and be an open, responsive, and accountable representative of ward 8.

Identify three community issues you find important:

1) Environmental Protection: Environmental issues have been big in recent years and with good reason. With sea levels rising 8 inches in the last century, the planet’s average surface temperature rising 1.1°C, declining arctic sea ice, ocean acidification, and shrinking ice sheets, there is no doubt climate change is happening, likely due to human activity (NASA, 2017). As a city who prides itself in being called “the Forest City”, I believe London should be leading the way in countering the effects and slowing climate change. Whether it’s implementation of new technologies, passing new city by-laws, or simply raising awareness, we must not stand idly by while something must be done.

2) Responsible Government: Throughout the ages, many politicians have disregarded the people for their own gains. Whether it is recklessly wasting taxpayer money or simply through negligence, this is unacceptable. In a democratic government elected by the people, the politicians should have nothing to hide. I believe in open, responsible, and accountable government. A government that does not waste taxpayer money, a government that finishes tasks on time, and a government that is open and transparent. We need to hold our government accountable for what they do, that they are not being tardy with important tasks, and ensure that taxpayer money does not just go into politicians’ pockets, nor is it wasted in some endless void.

3) Mental Health: Whether it is us personally or someone we know, we all have been affected one way or another by mental health issues. They say 1 in 5 people will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime and I have had friends who are dealing with or have dealt with mental illness. Youth of all populations are very susceptible to mental illness. In Canada 3.2 million of 12 – 19 year olds are at risk for developing depression and with Canada’s youth suicide rate the being third highest in the industrialized world (CMHA, 2016) this is no light issue. However I emphasize that mental illness is an illness, which means it can be cured. Statistics show that once depression is recognized, proper care can make a difference for 80% of people who are affected (CMHA, 2016). Those going through these issues need to understand they are not alone and many others have gone through similar situations. We need to end the stigma around mental illness and properly care for those in need of it.

You can find Charlie on:

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