B.C. teens among 100 youth who job-shadowed MPs

Youth were at Parliament Hill to learn how to become more civic-minded Canadians

  • Nov. 22, 2017 1:48 p.m.

Two Langley teens had a taste of federal government life when they visited Ottawa earlier this month.

Sarrah and Zoe, ages 16 and 15, respectively, represented Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley when they visited Parliament Hill on Nov. 7 to job shadow a Member of Parliament and become more civic-minded Canadians.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (BBBSC) and Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada (BGCC) once again partnered to host the fourth annual YOUth In Office: Job Shadowing Day on Parliament Hill, to give young people a one-of-a-kind, hands-on experience.

Roughly 100 youth and MPs spent the workday together as part of a joint initiative to inspire young people to become more engaged citizens by exposing them to politics and the democratic process in Canada.

During the annual Youth in Office event, young people from across Canada aged 14 to 24 get a chance to learn about politics and the political process from Members of Parliament (MPs) and Hill staffers.

Each young person is matched with a MP and they spend the workday together attending policy meetings and getting a behind-the-scenes look at life on ‘The Hill’; a one-of-a-kind hands-on experience.

Sarrah and Zoe, members of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley, said they were very excited about taking part in this opportunity.

Recent polling shows that a strong majority of Canadians believe that young people have too little influence on public policy in this country.

YOUth In Office puts these young people on a path to building that influence.

“At Big Brothers Big Sisters we believe every Canadian youth should have the opportunity to reach their full potential, as individuals and as citizens,” said Peter Coleridge, president and CEO of BBBSC. “Events like YOUth In Office are, in essence, mentoring opportunities, which build confidence in young people and result in positive outcomes in mental health, employment, inclusion and civic engagement later in life.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters notes that it is “committed to improving educational and career outcomes for all youth.”

Before spending the day with MPs, participants took part in a preparation day that included a meet and greet, media training, networking, and skill-building.

For more information, visit www.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca/youth-in-office or follow the #YouthInOffice hashtag.

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