Sally Meseret is only in high school but she’s already making a difference in classrooms across Ontario.
The grade 12 student at Donald A. Wilson Secondary School in Whitby is the president of the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association, which acts as a voice for students.
She was elected by other student trustees and works with their adult counterparts.
“My message is about empowering, don’t wait for a leader, you are a leader, you have to step out,” Meseret said in an interview with CTV News Toronto on Monday.
Equality in education is important to Meseret. This year she initiated a survey that gathers data about the barriers and needs of students in Ontario. A report on the survey’s findings is expected to be released before the end of the school year.
OPEN NOW! We’re conducting a survey to understand the state of equity in the Ontario education system with three specific focuses - Geography, Special Education and Representation. Take 3 minutes to fill it out at https://t.co/a7iM7xU69n!#studentvoice #onted #educationequity pic.twitter.com/SiAUQkg6we— OSTA-AECO (@OSTAAECO) March 2, 2020
“There is a series of empirical evidence that shows that by diversifying education and providing students from unique backgrounds the tools they need to reflect their identity to thrive, they will fare better,” Meseret said at a news conference on Feb. 19 at Queen’s Park.
Prior to becoming president, Meseret’s advocacy of feminine hygiene products led to a donation of 10,000 items for schools in Durham Region.
“You can change the world. I’ve always believed that,” Meseret said.
The 17-year-old said she always thought that if she found herself in a position to do something about an issue of problem , she should.
“And if I wasn’t in a position, I should get in a position to do something about it,” she said.
At school, Meseret is a celebrated role model.
”Sally is a great combination of strength, dignity but I think one of the big things is humility, and I think that’s a huge thing for humanity but also for women to aspire to,” said Joanna Samson, one of Meseret’s teachers.
”If we can just have more people like Sally, the world would be such an awesome place,” said her classmate, Miguel Gonzales.
After graduating, Meseret plans to study political science at university and go to law school.
“Strong female leaders need to blaze a trail, but they also need to bring people along with them and they need to enable people to see the potential they have in themselves,” Meseret said.