Applications are open for the Lethbridge member of Parliament’s youth advisory board. Each year, Rachael Thomas assembles a board of eight people between the ages of 16 and 24 to give both help inform her own political conversations and give members a place to have political voices heard.
“It is non-partisan so no matter what a person’s political persuasion is, they have an equal chance of being selected,” Thomas says. “It’s always a lot of fun just to engage in good conversation and leadership development with this group of people over the course of the year.”
Members of the board guide the conversation and each meeting begins with one member giving a seven-minute talk on a topic they are passionate about.
“I am looking for folks who are curious and wanting to engage in robust conversation concerning federal legislation and the different policies that being put in place and I would encourage anyone who is curious and wanting to ask courageous questions and engage in discussion to apply,” Thomas says, adding the conversations have impact outside of the regular board meetings. “There have been many occasions where the conversation that transpires around the youth advisory board table makes its way to Ottawa.”
The youth advisory board is not an opportunity available to all Canadians – Thomas says she has had a few colleagues ask her about it so they can start their own, but it is not common for members of parliament to have one.
Applications are open until March 15 and can be submitted on Thomas’ website.