As an advocate for youth and post-secondary students, Damon Robinson has decided to run as a trustee for the School District No. 57 (SD57) board of education in the upcoming municipal election.
Robinson is the membership outreach coordinator for the College of New Caledonia student union and said his recent experiences advocating for youth across the province inspired him to put his name in the hat.
“I have met with students across the province fighting for improvements, and they have shared their experiences with me. I realised in these conversations that the issues I had during my time have not changed, and these issues were across many districts,” said Robinson.
“With my experience in lobbying and as an activist, I found belief in myself being a new voice for our community. We need diverse perspectives, and I fit that type of role.”
Robinson has been an advocate for students in post-secondary education since 2018 and has been heavily involved with the student union and provincial federation.
“I have seen success in pushing for change, one being the implementation of the BC Access Grant, which gave students who come from families with financial stress up to $2,000 and the opportunity to achieve their goals in life,” said Robinson.
“Change is possible, and we shouldn't be afraid to speak up as a community for more from our government. I believe my experience as an advocate for those in need will play a significant role in my work as a school trustee.”
Robinson said as a person who works in the College of New Caledonia Students' Union, he has had the privilege of talking with students who have finished their studies in School District 57.
“One of the key issues, based on my experience, is the confidence that our K-12 graduates have in themselves. I have personally heard from students who have said that they feel as if they are not ready to go to post-secondary, or even into the workforce,” explained Robinson.
“I believe it is our responsibility as a community to set our youth up for success, and while some are succeeding in our current system - there are many who are falling through the cracks. Every student has something of value to give to our community, so it is crucial for us as people to build up our children to be the best version of themselves.”
He said he believes implementing mentorship programs or pushing for more extracurricular activities are a few potential ways to give youth a better chance to build themselves up as people.
Robinson added that he believes he can be a voice for the youth who are falling behind or who the current system isn’t built for.
“I represent progress and the wants of youth for things to be better. I wasn't the perfect, straight-a student that had everything handed to me; rather, I faced the struggles that students go through every day,” said Robinson.
“Because of this perspective, I believe I would be a perfect fit for the school, as we need a diversity of voices at the table to represent everyone best.”
On Oct. 15 voters will have to elect five trustees to represent Prince George on the board of education.