There's a story of two newborn babies who are lying side by side in the hospital and they glance at each other. 90 years later, through a remarkable coincidence, the two are back in the same hospital lying side by side in the same hospital room. They look at each other and one of them says, "So what'd you think?"
It's going to be a long time before students in high school will have to answer that question, but our days in elementary and secondary school build the foundation for how each of us will one day answer that question. School is a place where we discover who we are, what we value and appreciate, and most importantly, what we are truly capable of achieving.
I'm a big fan of the saying that "decisions are made by those who show up." So if there's piece of advice I can give you, it's simply to show up. And not just during the good times, but also the bad. Show up to lead, show up to be a difference maker, show up to make this world better.
No act of improving our world is too small. So find your passion, and use that to make this world a better place.
I look forward to bringing student voices and student concerns to the Board table.
Please never hesitate to contact me at any time for any reason, and know that your opinion truly and wholeheartedly matters to me and I'm always more than happy and ready to work with you and stand with you for the issues that matter to you.
In closing, I'd like to proffer this quote that I think should guide each and every single one of us through everything we do: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful and committed people can change the world- it's the only thing that ever has."
Ben Smith is a Grade 11 student at St. Brother Andre in Markham, who, ever since his first day of Kindergarten at St. Brigid CES, has been looking for ways to get involved.
From helping with assemblies in elementary school, to leading his school's Athletic Council, Ben has always been passionate about building a vibrant and exciting school environment.
In April, 2016, Ben was elected as a Student Trustee for the York Catholic District School Board by his peers.
As the Junior Student Trustee, Ben will be able to reach out to students across the Board, and advocate for them by bringing their concerns and opinions forward to Board stakeholders.
Outside of school, Ben hosts a hockey show on WhiStle Radio in Stouffville, and also serves as a sports broadcaster with Rogers Television in York Region. In addition to his radio and television work, Ben writes with Vox Media, Metroland Media and HockeyNow Magazine.