Hallie Robinson, a Grade 12 student at Maple Ridge secondary, is one of 40 bilingual undergraduate students in Canada chosen to take part in the Page Program in Ottawa.
Robinson will work part-time in the House of Commons during their first year of study.
She will also study a bilingual degree in environmental economics and public policy.
Environmental issues sparked Robinson’s passion for politics.
“My passion for politics really stemmed out of the environment.”
When Robinson was 15, she participated in a Metro Vancouver sustainability toolbox, which encouraged her to pursue the topic.
“As I continued pursuing the environment, I saw an aspect of politics come into it, too. I started looking at environment proceedings and environment current events, like the pipeline and those aspects of politics. I realized they merged really well.”
Robinson said she enjoys topics in economic, environment and social sustainability.
“I find it hard not to be passionate about something that really does concern us. I want to be a part of something bigger,” she added.
To earn her spot at the House of Commons, Robinson wrote two pages about what she will bring to the program, went through an interview process that tested French fluency skills, and passed a general knowledge test about government proceedings and figures.
In her free time, Robinson was a member of the MRSS Green Team, ran the spoken word society at MRSS, and worked as an elections clerk.
Nicole Beaudet, MRSS French immersion teacher, said it’s no surprise that Robinson was accepted for the Page Program.
“She’s got a really strong sense of ethics and what’s fair and unfair. She’s a super mature young woman and gets involved in everything around her. It’s a great reflection of Hallie and who she is. The fact that she is able to use her bilingualism is a really proud moment for us in the French department.”
Beaudet said during her teaching career, she’s had only two other students get into the Page Program.
After her year in Page , Robinson will decide between staying at the University of Ottawa or transferring to the University of British Columbia. Robinson sees herself working in an environmental sector of the government in the future.
“Anywhere I can find where I can include the passion for politics and environment. I would love to work in that area.”