Students from local high schools participated in the Rotary Club of Belleville's Mayors of the Week program from October 2-6.
Representing the ALCDSB was Shivani Narendranath, grade 12 student at Nicolson Catholic College and Student Trustee.
Student participants were selected by their high school. Narendranath was chosen for her interest in politics, public speaking, governance, and community service.
The week-long experience with the Mayor’s office allowed students the opportunity to learn about and observe municipal government in action. Rotary Club members facilitated transportation and toured the students through various municipal departments including City Hall, Police Services, Fire and Emergency Services, Transit Services, the Water Treatment Plant, the City Administrator's Office, Finance, Human Resources, and Economic Development.
When asked which city department was most interesting to her, Narendranath responded without hesitation “Touring the Belleville police station! We got up close and personal with the police cars and had an in-depth tour of the station which included a walk through the interrogation rooms”, said Narendranath.
Students also enjoyed lunch with Mayor Neil Ellis at nearby Bourboun Street Pizza and attended a City Council meeting.
“It was fascinating to discover how our municipal government is the most direct form of government that affects the daily lives of Canadians. Seeing how the different departments of the city all work together to keep up with daily operations has completely changed the way I view my community. I am so grateful for this opportunity provided by the Rotary club, working with the City of Belleville has been such a unique learning experience for me”, said Narendranath. About the Mayors of the Week program:
The Mayors of the Week program has been running in Belleville since 1969, providing local high school students with the opportunity to get a first-hand look at how their municipal government operates. The selected students are given tours of City facilities, meet representatives from various departments and attend a Rotary meeting to report on the experience.