Donaldson announces “Score One for Democracy” contest winner

Mar. 15, 2017 (SMITHERS, BC) – A winner has been selected by a panel of community judges in the Stikine MLA’s 7th annual contest for youth. Araceli O’Coffey, a grade 9 student at Bulkley Valley Christian School, wrote the winning essay for the “Score One for Democracy” contest that Doug Donaldson and a team of sponsors offered to young people in his riding.

“This year, because of the upcoming provincial election, we asked young people to reflect on the following question: There is a provincial election May 9. As a young person, what message would you like to tell politicians about what matters to you?” said Donaldson.

Araceli wrote about the importance of getting a robust education that would provide not only academic skills but also ‘real world’ skills that would prepare kids for life after high school.

“That’s the kind of direct feedback from a teenager in secondary school that helps me as an MLA provide input on policy and curriculum discussions,” said Donaldson. “I want to thank all contest entrants for their thoughtful submissions and congratulate Araceli for her essay that captured the attention of the judges.”

Araceli and her dad will fly to Vancouver courtesy of Central Mountain Air and attend the March 16 Vancouver Canucks vs. Dallas Stars game featuring the return of Dan Hamhuis to Vancouver. Bulkley Valley Credit Union provided the hockey tickets, the Gitxsan Government Commission sponsored the accommodation, the RCMP provided the judging of all the entries, and the Interior News and Moose FM donated advertising.

In her essay that impressed the judges, Araceli wrote: “We need to be better prepared for the future of tomorrow. Schools should be filling kids in on what is going to happen after school is finished. In addition to taking classes like calculus that only few people need to know for their jobs, we should be learning how to keep a budget or how to pay off our debt. In English class we should be learning how to write a resume which could assist us in getting a job in the future. In Economics we should be learning how to manage our taxes, something that will for sure come in handy. By adding simple but very practical things to the classroom curriculum we can ready our generation for the ‘real world.’

Araceli’s full essay can be found here.