When Vancouver resident Aiden arrived at Branksome as a Boarder two years ago, the Grade 11 student was most excited about being challenged academically. They never imagined they would also be able to affect social change within the school and wider community.
A member of Branksome’s Gay-Straight Alliance, Aiden is now one of three student heads. “The alliance is more than just about young people coming together – it accomplishes something,” says Aiden.
That includes increasing education around issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students – and acceptance.
GSA celebrates Pride Week in October with various events. In Aiden’s role as co-head, they hope to break down barriers that may be preventing students who are nervous or intimidated from joining the alliance. They also want to help voice the needs of transgender students.
“Having come from a public school, I couldn’t believe Branksome had people coming together this way. GSA is a safe, welcoming and accepting environment,” reflects Aiden. “It gave me the space to really become my own person.”
“Branksome made me feel like I belong,” they add. “I hope to leave Branksome with change that will further make the community more welcoming to everyone.”