A Canadian Filipino teen from Maple Ridge, BC is among the 18-member StrongerBC Young Leaders Council that will provide input to the BC Provincial government on youth-related issues and propose ideas for government consideration.
Sixteen-year-old Malia Mercado, a first-generation Canadian Filipino, was appointed from a selection process that received over 250 applications province-wide from young British Columbians 14 to 26 years of age.
Through the stories and experiences of her immigrant parents, Mercado understands the challenges that people of colour and new immigrants face when they arrive in Canada. She is passionate about issues around youth mental health and domestic violence. Mercado led her school’s participation in the Moose Hide Campaign, a nationwide Indigenous-led grassroots movement that aims to end violence against women and children.
Mercado joins youth leaders across the province who will support the work of the Premier’s Special Adviser on Youth, Brittny Anderson. Anderson chairs the council and is an MLA representing the Nelson-Creston constituency. A youth vice-chair will be appointed by the Provincial government.
In a media release, Anderson said, “I’m looking forward to working with these remarkable young people to hear first-hand what is needed in the Fraser Valley to help improve their lives and opportunities. These young leaders represent some of the most community-minded young people in our province. Their input will make a difference for their peers and communities, now and for generations to come.”
The Council provides a platform for the youth to engage directly with the government while providing it with a better understanding of the needs and perspectives of young British Columbians on important issues that matter most to them. Council members are expected to help influence government decision-making.
StrongerBC Young Leaders Council members will serve one-year terms with the option to remain on the council for up to three terms. The first meeting is planned for spring 2022 and will be held quarterly.