b'The Youth Summit was a conversation that I know will ignite change. You could hear it in the discussions that were happening throughout the day, said Ridhwanlai Badmos, a grade 10 student at Windsor Park Collegiate and one of the leaders who helped plan and host the event. It made me realize there are so many things that students can do; we just have to take the initiative. The Youth Summit was a conversation that More than 130 classrooms of students in grades 5 to 8 tunedI know will ignite change. You could hear in during the morning session. Students heard from Big Daddy Tazz, a comedian and motivational speaker, before moving intoit in the discussions that were happening breakout rooms with other classes from across LRSD. throughout the day. It made me realize The summit was an engaging, thought-provoking, andthere are so many things that students can empowering experience for students, said Kristin Zaparniuk,do; we just have to take the initiative. teacher at St. George School. Students liked being able to connect with their peers from around the division, and it madeRIDHWANLAI BADMOS them feel good to have their voices heard and appreciated. Student at Windsor Park CollegiateIn the afternoon, more than 160 high school students participated in the summit. The session kicked off with a keynote speech from Michael Redhead Champagne, a local community activist and public speaker, that inspired students to take action for positive change within their community. After sharing theirFollowing each keynote speech, staff were given the opportunity thoughts and ideas within breakout rooms, students heard fromto discuss what they heard and how it resonated for them in their Sofia Costantini, an educator, author, and choreographer, aboutschools. These student speakers have done such an amazing mental health and strategies to build back community. job that they have completely reenergized and motivated me as a teacher to tackle the last month of school, wrote Avril French Although were still navigating a pandemic, it is so importantVarga, teacher at Samuel Burland School, during the Mental that we capture students stories and insight about their livedHealth and Well-Being keynote. They are the reason we choose experience to learn how we can do better as an educationthis profession and are the best motivators.system, said Christian Michalik, Superintendent, LRSD. Beyond the Horizon showed that we can find hope and opportunity, evenThe content in each keynote was action-oriented and based on in crisis. a multitude of student experiences from across the division. Students encouraged teachers to incorporate traditional land-The summit was planned and executed by a group of 21 studentsbased learning into daily classes, include in-depth conversations from LRSDs seven high schools. The group was responsibleabout race and diversity into the curriculum, allow for mental for graphic design, content creation, script writing, coordinatinghealth breaks during the day, provide additional student logistics, hosting the breakout sessions and more. Studentleadership opportunities, and more.ambassadors throughout the divisions elementary schools and the Louis Riel Arts & Technology Centre helped promote theI was amazed with the student leadership group that presented event at the school-level. for our professional learning day, said Alyssa Olynyk, teacher at Windsor Park Collegiate. Hearing them communicate the many After the summit, the group of student leaders quickly beganother voices of students across the division was truly inspiring.summarizing the lessons learned to share with staff at a professional learning day on May 31. More than 1,400 staff tunedIn an exit survey sent to staff, 97 per cent of the 935 respondents in to a series of four keynote speeches, each touching on one ofprovided a positive rating of the day and many requested more the main topics from Beyond the Horizon.student-led professional learning in the future. A positive of the pandemic is that it presented the opportunity I am incredibly proud of all of the students, both on and off to connect with so many students from across the division, screen, for their significant contributions and dedication, said said Heaven Nandwal, grade 11 student at Glenlawn CollegiateChristian Michalik, Superintendent. Beyond the Horizon and the and keynote speaker. It was my honour to hear the voicessubsequent keynotes will help us continue improving the learning of youth and have the chance to share those voices with ourjourney and I look forward to continuing this important dialogue amazing educators. in the 2021-2022 school year and beyond. 35'