STAHS students welcome federal NDP leader
Students at St. Thomas Aquinas High School had a chance to speak with the Leader of the NDP, Jagmeet Singh, today during an assembly at the school, and while many guest speakers hold questions till the end, Singh took a different approach.
"I always think back to when I was a kid. What would I have found interesting? So I start with a fun icebreaker game and then open the floor to questions as quickly as possible," said Singh.
Students were asked to stand up if they liked certain singers or artists before he introduced himself. He then encouraged the students to ask any question they wanted.
"I think it was awesome that he included so much audience participating," said Thewmi Koralalage a Grade 11 student. "He was so open about everything and he didn't try to corner us to ask certain questions. He was respectful to everyone who asked the questions."
Questions varied from what his priorities would be if he were elected Prime Minister to children using technology at school to his favourite colour, which is blue.
"Anytime I have a chance to be with young people it gives me a lot of hope for the future. Look at the questions they're asking and the things they're concerned about, it gives me a lot of hope," said Singh. "I was just speaking with some kids who cared about the environment, what my party would focus on, [and] healthcare. Their willingness to be open and think outside the box is really inspiring."
Every time Singh asked for another question numerous hands went up. When the students were told there was only time for one more question, almost half of the all of the hands in the gym went up quickly.
Koralalage said she was impressed he made the stop at St. Thomas Aquinas.
"When my teacher told me who we were going to see I was excited. He's a big influence in Canada so I thought, 'Wow he's in Kenora, it's such a small city, I'm glad he's here,'" she said. "He's probably really busy too so to come here and speak with us was awesome. I think he's a great leader."
As for his impression of STAHS, Singh had only good things to say.
"A great school with amazing kids. Really really great energy. [It's] welcoming, positive, just a great vibe, really really good."