New student trustee wants Indigenous voices heard at SMC

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‘My main goal is to make Indigenous students feel heard at school,’ says new trustee Mya Jensen, a 16-year-old Grade 11 student at St. Mary’s College

Mya Jensen, a 16-year-old Grade 11 student at St. Mary’s College, is the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board’s first Indigenous student trustee.

Jensen was introduced to the board at its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday evening by Danny Viotto, H-SCDSB director of education.

“I’m looking forward to being able to ensure Indigenous students will be seen and heard at St. Mary’s College and have the opportunity to be on the Student Senate. Proving and challenging myself is one of the things I’m most looking forward to,” Jensen said in a brief address to the board.

“It feels pretty good. I want this to be a really good year for everyone,” Jensen said, speaking to SooToday after Wednesday’s meeting. 

Jensen said she was approached by a group of SMC teachers and asked to compose a speech outlining her interest in becoming an Indigenous trustee. 

“I read the speech, I got accepted and here I am.”

“My main goal is to make Indigenous students feel heard at school. I have some Indigenous friends and some of them don’t feel they’re heard as much as other kids are so I really want to make sure Indigenous culture is heard and more included at school. It hasn’t been a big problem. I just think there wasn’t enough representation,” Jensen said.    

She listed 21-year-old U.S. tennis player Ben Shelton as one of her role models.

“He went pro just last year. He never gave up. He kept being devoted and loyal to his sport and himself and that inspired me to be exactly like him. He proved that loyalty and dedication pay off.”

Listing dancing, researching, reading, writing and baseball as her hobbies, Jensen said she enjoys studying “science of all types.”

Jensen is SMC Indigenous Student Council’s secretary and manages SMC Radio’s Instagram posts.

She said she has already given her post-graduation plans some thought and stated she wants to be a crime scene investigator.

A huge part of being a student trustee is being supportive of other students as they often face academic challenges at school.

“There’s so much good advice to give but I would say just keep working hard. Don’t give up. I know there are going to be times when you want to give up, but don’t. Sometimes you feel down or feel like you can’t do it, but you’ll always reach your dreams.”

In her first leadership role, Jensen was asked if she sees public office in her future.  

“I’ve been told that I should go into that but for now I just want to help my fellow students.”

Jensen will join two other student trustees — Owen Middleton and Kenzie Garson — at board meetings throughout the 2023-24 school year.

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