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March 28th, 2023
The Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) is pleased to announce two new Student Trustees elected for the 2023-24 school year. Abdullah Awan and Casper Dong were elected during a student election in February 2023.
As WRDSB continues to develop student-centred plans and programs to foster connection and belonging in our schools, Student Trustees play an important role in ensuring decisions are made with students’ experiences, needs and well-being in mind. Abdullah and Casper will each serve a one-year term from August 1, 2023 to July 31, 2024.
I am a Grade 11 student at Southwood Secondary School who strives to make a difference in my community through my passion, leadership and engagement. My passion for leadership and community involvement has led me to various opportunities both in and out of school. Currently, I hold the position of Warrant Officer Second Class (WO2) in the Air Cadet program, where I assist in planning and instructing activities for the cadets. I have also had the privilege of contributing to youth-led initiatives through my involvement with organizations such as the Youth Force, Youth Advisory Council of Cambridge, and other youth councils. Recently, I have been working as a youth connector with the Children and Youth Planning Table of Waterloo Region who works with organizations like the City of Kitchener, City of Waterloo and UNICEF Canada. As a youth connector I engage with youth in the Waterloo Region to better understand their issues and concerns and work on developing a website that addresses them. Time management and meeting deadlines are important to me, and I strive to maintain good communication skills and a professional and respectful attitude when interacting with my peers, teachers, and community leaders. I understand the importance of confidentiality and handling sensitive information with discretion.
Hi! My name is Casper, and I’m a second-year student at Laurel Heights Secondary School (LHSS). My goal is to create an effective and healthy learning environment for students across all of WRDSB.
Always striving for equality and creative solutions for my fellow peers, I’ve always loved using collaboration, communication, and advocacy to make a difference. I’m a proud member of LHSS’s Cross Country Team, Track & Field, Music Council, Fedprov, Junior Leadership, SHSM, Drama Club, and Business Club. Outside of school, I’ve done Taekwondo, tinker with robotics, play electric guitar in the band “Red November”, and founded a tutoring organization for students who struggle with English. I’ve headed fundraiser events, earned multiple awards in writing contests, led students inside of a non-profit event, I’m an active member of WCCA (Waterloo Chinese Canadian Association), and I’m currently working with Laurier professors on (at the moment) private projects.
Having the voice of change is one thing, but having the courage to speak is another. I believe that communication is essential in making a difference and it’s one of my core principles.
Real problems require real solutions. I will strive towards using ingenuity and determination to help all 64,000 students across the Waterloo Region District School Board. Students should recognize that they can be, and are being heard. It’s an honour that this duty has been entrusted by the student body to me as a Student Trustee.
The 2023-24 Student Trustee Election was held in February 2023 and saw 12 student applicants and over 4,000 votes cast.
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