Ward 9

Me.jpgName: Ahmad Zyoud

Tell us a bit about yourself: 

Hey everyone, my name is Ahmad Zyoud and I am a grade 11 high school student at Oakridge S.S. I have the great pleasure to be the captain of a community robotics team and the great honour to be a councillor on MP Kate Young’s Youth Council. This has allowed me to reach out in my community and learn about the issues that London and youth my age are facing. I hope to use my knowledge and skills gained from the two leadership positions above and more to work with my fellow councillors and London to solve the problems we are facing.

Why do you want to be a Youth Councillor?

Working with my community has given me a huge interest in helping create London a better place for all of us. As a high school student I want to take this opportunity to represent and be the voice to the youth of my age who are facing the same problems that we face on a regular basis. I hope to use my knowledge and skills gained from leadership positions to work with my fellow councillors and London to solve the problems we are facing.

Identify three community issues you find important:

1) Mental Health:
–Being a teenager is a dramatic time of change. The journey from child to adult can be complex and challenging. Youth often feel pressure to succeed in school, at home, and in social groups.
-We need to strive to support young people aged 13-18 years old in conversations about mental health.
-This will be done through workshops, surveys, along with community outreach events

2) Substance Abuse:
-“In North America, and more specifically in Canada, it is now recognized that substance abuse is a major health care problem” (The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse )
-We Londoners need to unite to raise awareness about substance abuse through workshops in and out of school along with community outreach events

3) Poverty:
-“Too often, we see poverty as an issue of individual bad choices. When in fact, it’s our early life, our relationships and the opportunities we’re given that really define our future.” (https://ifyouknew.ca/)
-We need to engage ward 9 and London about the topic of poverty through community outreach events
-We need to make ward 9 and all of London the best place to raise a child
-We can do this by working with “Poverty Over London” to make London a great city to raise a child in
-This issues can not be resolved without your help! Check out this link (https://ifyouknew.ca/quiz) to find out what kind of a community energizer and see a personalized list of ways to get involved and make a difference in our community.

You can find Ahmad on:

P_20170408_200017_1.jpgName: Sheru Yousafzai

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I am 15 years old and currently in grade 10 at London Central Secondary School. My favourite subjects currently are drama, civics, and English. My hobbies include skateboarding, basketball, and skiing. My interests include debate, theatre arts, and recently politics, and I have taken roles in my school’s drama productions. Currently I am a member of my school’s Model United Nations Club and I am hoping to lead the club in my senior years of high school. I love learning about new cultures and am actively involved in the Pakistani community.

Why do you want to be a Youth Councillor?

I believe change starts at the local level. LYAC is a perfect opportunity to be involved with my community and be a force of positive impact. I am excited about representing my ward and bringing forward local issues, as well as building relationships with community members. My interests in leadership and local government drive to me to give back to my community as a resident.

Identify three community issues you find important:

1) Youth Involvement & Diversity: One way to improve our ward would be to encourage youth involvement and diversity. Currently in our ward, there is a low level of youth engagement. I believe this is due to the lack of activities targeting youth. More than making a new recreational centre, like the YMCA being built, we should take advantage of our current resources, such as hosting new events at the Lambeth community centre. We could also better advertise events in the area to residents to encourage participation. Another important of our community is the library, which should be more accessible to youth and adults alike. We can do this by encouraging summer programs and changing library hours.

2) Maintenance of Roads: A second area of consideration should be the refinement and improvement of roads and traffic lights. The main problem with our ward, especially with the Lambeth area, is that it is constantly growing, but still lacks the attention it needs with respect to roads. To name a few examples, Pack Road is a primary road for residents, myself included, to enter Talbot village. The poor street lighting, however, makes night time visibility a problem. Another example is the traffic light at the intersection of Tillmann Road and Southdale Road, where it becomes hard for drivers turning left to see oncoming traffic, and poses a safety risk. Overall, in both my ward and London in general, we should make an effort to improve our traffic systems and maintain our roads.

3) The Environment: Finally, London is known for its forests and wildlife. While London’s population and residential areas are rapidly expanding, we must also find a way to preserve London’s natural beauty. This comes with a balance, but I believe we can begin by raising more awareness and appreciation of London’s forests and natural habitats. This can even be as simple as arranging various hikes in the city or encouraging nature photography. By promoting our natural environments, we can work towards conservation.

You can find Sheru on:

*Click here to see a map of Ward 9