When Vancouver resident Aiden arrived at Branksome as a Boarder two years ago, the Grade 11 student was most excited about being challenged academically. She never imagined she 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 her role as co-head, Aiden hopes to break down barriers that may be preventing students who are nervous or intimidated from joining the alliance. She also wants 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,” she adds. “I hope to leave Branksome with change that will further make the community more welcoming to everyone.”