Local high schoolers have a chance to be a MLA for a day
Ever thought about getting some hands-on experience with your local government. Well one lucky high school student in each constituency has the chance to be an MLA for the day.
The MLA For the Day program runs from May 6 to 8.
It's a three-day program that goes over the roles and responsibilities of an MLA. The program is free and includes all meals, and two night's accommodations and travel expenses. Arrival and departures will be co-ordinated through the Visitor Services office and participants will be chaperoned for the duration of the program.
The program is open to students enrolled in grades 10 to 12 in Alberta. Home school students are also eligible to apply. Each year the program accepts 87 participants.
“I think its good because it's actually going to be a group of their peers, its children in grades 10 through 12 that are allowed to attend a three-day program. It's two nights and then three days,” explained Liz McConnell constituency assistant for MLA Derek Fildebrandt of the Strathmore -Brooks constituency.
“You are going to be hearing from classes from all over Alberta, so different interests, and different hopefully socioeconomic classes as well and see how you come together to try and debate topics and try to come to consensus,” she said.
Applications need to be submitted by March 23 and can be completed online by visiting the legislative assembly website at assembly.ab.ca/visitor/student_zone.
“Fill it out and you will be notified by the end of March if you are accepted. They take one student from every constituency right across Alberta,” she said.
“They will have workshops, personal interviews with different MLAs, they'll see a debate in the legislative chamber. They will get to see a bunch of diverse points on political issues from their own peers and MLAs as well,” said McConnell.
“It's really hands-on and from prior students from our constituency who have went, they all said it was a great experience,” she said.
Fees for travel, meals and accommodations are covered for the event.
The free three-day youth conference at the Alberta Legislature is a chance for students to network with students from across the province and attend workshops, interview current and former MLAs and participate in debates.