Isabella Preite will be sworn in as Vancouver School Board's new student trustee at a board meeting on September 12.
The 17-year-old Kitsilano Secondary School student was elected by Vancouver District Student Council to be their representative to attend and speak at public meetings of the Vancouver Board of Education.
Preite wants to be an outlet for student voices on key issues, including mental health, women's rights, gender neutrality and potential school closures.
"I'm really looking forward to the experience of getting to discuss issues with trustees," she said. "Often, when you hear about these topics, such as school closures, you hear it in the news and it feels like a whole other world that's behind the scene and it's not in the classroom. In the student trustee position, it's going to be great taking these topics back to students and learning more about the education system."
The Grade 12 student is keen to attend events that allow her to learn more about the education system, but she is clear that she will be representing the views of her fellow students, not their parents or herself.
"Students understand the system from the first person point of view because they're taking those tests and being part of the programs or clubs," said Preite. "It's important to stick true to the students' voice - that's who I'm representing."
In those discussions, Preite can draw on her experiences debating and being a head delegate at the Model United Nations education simulation. The French Immersion student plans to study political science or international relations at university.
Away from school, Preite is an animal lover and figure skater, though injury prevents her competing any more. She enjoys singing and playing the guitar and ukulele.