The Youth Council is a great opportunity for young people in our riding of Kingston and the Islands to work together and identify issues important to them. Our youth are our future and it is imperative that elected officials give them a seat at the table.
The Youth Council runs for one year and applications usually open in September and close at the end of October. Check back here in the fall for a link to Youth Council applications.
Athena Andrecyk is a grade 10 student enrolled in the Pre-International Baccalaureate Diploma
program at Kingston Secondary School. Athena wanted to be a member of MPP Hsu’s Youth
Advisory Council so she could share and collaborate on important social justice issues to create
positive change, collaborate with new and like-minded individuals, and improve her leadership and
collaboration skills. At Kingston Secondary School, Athena is an active member of the cross country
and track and field teams, athletic council, and peer-tutoring program. Outside of school, Athena
enjoys running, boxing, and reading anything she can get her hands on. Athena is a returning member to my Youth Council having previously served from 2022-2023.
Reese Berman is a grade 10 student attending Frontenac Secondary School. She joined the council to
learn how to make a difference, learn about government, and work with people who share her
passions towards important topics. Reese has been an aspiring musician since the age of 7, she plays
the flute and is in her school’s concert band. She loves playing sports, particularly basketball, golf,
track, and gymnastics. She is also on her school’s curling team, trivia team, MUN, yearbook
committee, interact committee, mathletes team, and softball tournament team. She is from Calgary
Alberta, has lots of pets, and got the award for the third highest marks in her grade as well as several
others. Reese also loves and excels in the math and sciences and hopes to be an aerospace engineer
alongside a musician.
Aarth Bhavsar is a grade 10 student currently attending Kingston Secondary School. He wanted to
join the youth council to help support his community’s issues and be more active in his community.
Aarth loves to help volunteer for City of Kingston events and soccer refereeing in the summer. He is
part of his high-school soccer and badminton team and loves competition. Aarth is excited to be a part
of the youth council and work together to make Kingston a better place!
Alexander Burgess is currently in Grade 9 at Leahurst College. He was interested in being a part of
the Youth Advisory Council because he thought that he could bring some new and helpful ideas to the
group. He is looking forward to working with a group of his peers on some important projects. He has
a passion for problem solving and likes to try to find solutions to problems that come up in everyday
life. His main hobbies include piano, hockey, golf and fishing. In his spare time, he likes to spend time
on the St. Lawrence enjoying the water and nature while spending time with his friends and family
Gloria Fokam is a ninth grader at the French Catholic School Sainte-Marie-Rivier. The reason why
she wanted to be on the council was because she wants to help understand and find solutions for some
struggles that students face at school and she wants to help the city become a more eco-friendly place.
With this she wanted to take part in this council and make a change for the future. She plays
volleyball in her school. Some interesting facts about her is that she loves drawing, writing and
reading fiction books.
Seham Kettaneh is a grade 12 student at École secondaire publique Mille-Îles. With a profound
interest in community engagement and a passion for addressing social issues, Seham was motivated to
rejoin MPP Ted Hsu’s Constituency Youth Advisory Council this year. Outside of her advocacy work,
Seham is deeply engaged in extracurricular activities that reflect her diverse interests. She is
passionate about entrepreneurship and has founded a startup, Taita’s Specialty Sauces, with a vision to
promote inclusivity, sustainability, and cultural heritage within her community. Her multifaceted roles
extend beyond entrepreneurship, with involvement in organizations such as Destination Ontario as a
Tourism Ambassador, and contributions to the Kingston Multicultural Festival and Girls in Gear
firefighting training camp. An interesting fact about Seham is her passion for weightlifting and her
aspiration to pursue personal training as a side hustle during university, finding fulfillment in
empowering herself and others through fitness pursuits.
Colesen Lebrun is a Grade 12 student enrolled at the French secondary school Sainte-Marie-Rivier.
She joined Ted Hsu’s Youth Advisory Council to fulfill her passion of improving the public education
system for future generations. She is currently the Foreign Affairs Minister for her school student
council, a member of her school board’s Advisory Council, and the director of her school’s theatre
club. In her free time, Colesen enjoys engaging in debates, listening to music, reading and writing.
Lily Naaman is a 12th grade student studying at LCVI. She wanted to be on the youth council in
order to learn about government and Canadian politics. She cares about global issues such as
inequality, structural racism and the environment, and local issues such as the housing crisis and
discrimination. Lily is interested in understanding as much about the world as she can, which has
driven her to work with children as a Hebrew teacher, study birds as a coop student in an animal
behaviour lab, intern at a biomedical computing facility, be a software programmer on a robotics
team, and read and write poetry. She hopes to share her perspective, based on these pastimes and her
experiences coming from an immigrant family, and learn from the other council members, MPP Hsu,
and his colleagues.
Maya Nanji is in grade 11 at Frontenac Secondary School and has always worked hard to contribute in
her community. She was on the youth council last year and really valued her time there. She learned
so much and was so happy to be working with like minded teenagers. She is very excited to be doing
it again this year. Maya is also on student council at FSS, as the grade eleven representative and plays
on many sports teams including field hockey, volleyball and rugby. Maya loves spending time with
her friends and family and is so grateful for all their support. Maya is also a returning member of my Youth Council having previously served from 2022-2023.
Aleesha is in Grade 10 at LCVI. She wanted to be on the council to work towards making change on a
larger scale, and meet people with the same mindset. In her free time, Aleesha enjoys painting,
crocheting, reading, and helping out at her mosque. When she’s older, Aleesha hopes to be an
advocate for Muslim Canadians through her work.
Jannah Sultan is a creative 16 year old currently attending LCVI. She volunteers at the Queen’s
University School of Computing research Lab. She enjoys painting, crafting, and taking risks. She has
previously competed in a local robotics team for 3 years, as well as competitive gymnastics for more
than 10 years. She has won a silver medal in her local STEM high school science fair, and gained
much knowledge because of her experiences during it.
Jack Washburn is a grade 9 student in the pre-IB program at KSS. He participates in several clubs at
school from debate to political theory to DECA. Jack has always been interested in politics and
government, inspired by his grandfather, who was a federal deputy minister and patriotic Canadian.
Jack volunteers at the office of federal Member of Parliament Mark Gerretsen, and is excited to learn
about the work of a Member of the Provincial Parliament and contribute to helping MPP Hsu serve
his constituents. Jack is new to Kingston, having moved from Mississauga in 2021 and is enjoying the
experience of living downtown. In his spare time, Jack is an avid reader. He enjoys golfing and skiing,
and spending summers at his family cottage on Eagle Lake, in Central Frontenac.
Alexandra (Lexi) Wowk is a grade 9 student at Frontenac Secondary School and is thrilled to be
joining Ted Hsu’s Youth Advisory Council! When she’s not in school, Lexi can usually be found at
the local curling rink, doing ballet, or playing flute in the school band. She’s passionate about healthy
eating and nutrition and believes that access to healthy food is an essential ingredient for learning.
That is why Lexi hopes to raise the awareness of food insecurity in schools and advocate for
initiatives that increase youth access to healthy food. She hopes to tackle this and other important
initiatives by working with others on the Youth Advisory Council and in the local community