Student trustees are an important and valuable voice in representing the interests of the student body at meetings of the board.
The Ontario Public Student Trustee Leadership Scholarship
Nominations are now open for the Ontario Public Student Trustee Leadership Scholarship! This is an award jointly provided by the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) and the Public Board Council of OSTA-AECO. The intent is to recognize outstanding achievement in a leadership role and provide financial support to a graduating public board student trustee to assist with their post-secondary education plans (University, College, or Apprenticeship).
Student trustees represent the voice of students in decisions about education and they help keep students informed about important decisions that affect them. They play an important role in the education governance process and are actively working at the local board and provincial levels on a number of initiatives.
This scholarship is based on an outstanding initiative accomplished during the student trustee’s term and how the initiative positively impacted the students in their board. Two scholarships, in the amount of $500 each, will be awarded.
Note: For the 2020-21 school year, student trustees have been performing their role under unique circumstances due to the pandemic and this may affect the types of leadership initiatives undertaken.
The winners of the 2020 scholarship were:
- Anumita Jain, Greater Essex County District School Board
A Grade 12 student at Vincent Massey SS in Windsor, Student Trustee Anumita Jain spearheaded the creation of the Association’s Handbook to Menstrual Hygiene Accessibility as co-chair of OSTA-AECO’s Student Well-being Working Group to help student trustees in other boards address the inequities in access to menstrual hygiene products in schools. Following the successful production and distribution of the handbook in February, she launched a board-wide consultation of students in Grades 6 to 12 through the Student Senate in March. After five months of work, on May 19, Anumita brought a motion to the board to ensure menstrual hygiene products would be provided for free in female and gender-neutral washrooms by June 2022, which was unanimously passed by trustees. Anumita will be attending the University of Windsor for a Bachelor degree in Behaviour Cognition and Neuroscience, and plans to attend medical school afterwards.
- Prasith Wijeweera, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB)
As Student Trustee for the OCDSB and a Grade 12 student at Bell HS, Prasith Wijeweera spearheaded a report and consultation asking Ottawa’s City Council to improve bus services for students. Some students in the city were busing up to two hours daily, an inequity given that many were in English as a Second Language or Special Education programs. Prasith compiled thoughts from 50 students into a report and sent it to City Councillors. After a four month process, OC Transpo staff announced that improvements would not be possible due to a lack of resources, but they did alter departure times to reduce connection waiting periods for students. Prasith is encouraged that transit staff acknowledged the report and did make some changes to service. He will be pursuing a Bachelor of Civil Engineering in Public Transportation at the University of Waterloo where he will be motivated to work on improving transit systems.
All submissions were reviewed by a committee comprising OSTA-AECO’s Public Board Council executive members and trustees with the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association.
The successful recipient must:
- Be a student trustee who completed a one or two-year term at a public school board
- Be a student trustee who will be continuing their education in a post-secondary setting
- Submit a completed scholarship application that highlights the student trustee’s successful leadership initiative
All submissions will be reviewed by a committee comprised of OSTA-AECO’s Public Board Council executive members and trustees with the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association.
April 26, 2021 – Applications sent to all student trustees in English public school boards
May 24, 2021 – Application deadline
June 11, 2021 – Selection deadline by the OPSBA OSTA Liaison Committee
June 18, 2021 – Announcement of successful recipient announced
Applicants are asked to explain in a maximum of 200 words their suitability for the Ontario Public Student Trustee Scholarship. All applications must be accompanied by two letters of reference, one of which must be from a senior executive or member of the local board. Letters of reference should not exceed two pages in length.
Please send your package in PDF format to OSTA-AECO’s Public Council Board President Mahek Dhaliwal at Mahek.Dhaliwal@osta-aeco.org by May 24, 2021. If you are unable to complete this application due to accessibility issues and have specific alternative format requests, please contact Mahek Dhaliwal.
Application submissions must include the following information:
- School Board
- Term(s) of Student Trustee
- Contact information – Email and phone number
- Leadership Initiative Overview:
- How long did it take for you to accomplish this initiative (i.e. conception to implementation)?
- What makes your initiative unique?
- How many people did this initiative reach?
- What is the long term impact of your project?
- Attach any media/additional documents related to your initiative
Additional Information (30 words max for each question):
- What are your plans for post-secondary education?
- How are you planning to continue and take on leadership opportunities?
- Is there any additional information you would like the committee to know about your time as student trustee?
- Ontario Regulation 7/07 – Student Trustees
- OSTA-AECO Student’s Vision for Education – May 2019
- Results of the 2017 Ontario Student, Parent and Educators Survey
- OPSBA letter to the Minister of Education regarding the role of Student Trustees
- OPSBA’s comments on the Role and Responsibility of Student Trustees
- Hicks Morley legal update on Student Trustees