Daniel Hopkins, a 15-year-old who attends The King’s School in Pontefract, part of Pontefract Academies Trust, has been successfully elected as part of the Wakefield Youth Council. The Wakefield Youth Council is a platform for Wakefield residents ages 13-18 to serve as youth leaders empowered to share policy ideas and youth comment in the community.
Two years ago, Daniel admits he was very shy and this opportunity would have been far out of his comfort zone. However, he wants to build his character and develop his interpersonal skills and felt this would be something that could help both of those.
Daniel is looking forward to being a voice for other people who might be too shy to speak out. He is also now part of the Student Leadership Group at The King’s School as he is keen to be involved with things that will affect him and his future.
Wakefield Youth Council runs a meeting every Monday for at least 2 hours that Daniel will attend, and he will also have to run campaigns and make posters in his own time. The main campaigns he will be working on are those in his manifesto including the inclusion of minorities in education and the modern issues they face, bullying and mental health in schools, supporting child poverty, and making school food better. One of Daniel’s ideas is to introduce a “stress-less lounge” in all schools to promote wellbeing.
Daniel said: “I would really encourage all students to push themselves out of their comfort zone. It’s important that everyone’s opinion is heard and students should take all the opportunities they get to make a change. This opportunity for me could open so many doors. I am currently working with my partner for Wakefield West looking at the grades needed to get a university loan. We have to contact local MP’s to get them on board. I never thought I would be doing something that could change the future for others, but here I am”.