Recently I was invited to meet with a voter in the Orangeville area who, when I arrived to meet with him, explained he wasn’t a parent, or a teacher but rather a concerned, active and engaged 22 year old! With his permission – I’m sharing some highlights from the conversation.
First, I must say that I was so impressed by his commitment to Catholic education and the importance he placed on the experiences he had in one of our local Catholic high schools. We talked about the value of the relationship between home, school and parish and how much he would like to see that not only continue but to improve. His comments included suggestions like perhaps occasionally inviting the parish priest into the school to teach a religion class. Makes sense to me – talk about connecting school and parish!
Coincidentally, this young person shared my vision about the importance of access to apprenticeships and skilled trades programming. Not all of us are geared toward a university education. Our family is a prime example of this with my husband in a skilled trade, related to the tool and die industry. We have owned our own business now for almost 20 years – a successful career that originated directly from his exposure to machine shop in high school. It’s time to reach out to our younger voting constituents to find out what matters to them and to talk about opportunities within our school system that highlight careers other than those that are university based. SHSM programming is a great start – let’s think about what else we can do.
Finally, I was so impressed with this young persons entrepreneurial spirit and his message of the importance of his faith based educational experiences. Active in his church community we also talked about continued opportunities to foster a relationship between home, school and parish and to continue to engage in social justice work in the community. A Catholic education helps to imbue these kinds of values into our youth, who then carry them throughout life. Our schools are doing a fantastic job but it’s important that we come together as a community, forming partnerships between the Trustee, the Board, Schools, Teachers and Administrators, to continue to support them in doing more.
What matters to young voters today? What matters to those who are still in the education system? I’ve heard from some of you, including this young person – and I’d love to hear more. If you’re an engaged and active youth currently enrolled in, or recently graduated from, the Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board, I’d love to hear from you! Contact me via facebook, instagram, or my website. Together let’s do great things!