Oleg Saldyga patiently awaits the fall transit schedule to see if his ideas are implemented.
The 14-year-old, who just finished Grade 9 at Oak Bay High, undertook a major project last year which included researching and seeking changes to public transit. Saldyga and his student council cohort Isabella Lee prepared a speech and PowerPoint presentation to the BC Transit Commission to make a case for increased buses during peak times of student traffic.
“I had the idea because I was busing to my French tutor and the bus was completely overfilled,” he said. “I found it was a big problem for 200 to 300 students. It affected them getting places on time.”
He researched the schedule and came up with options of adding buses, or double-decker buses to the route during specific times of day, before and after school specifically on the #11, #7 and #15 buses most used by students.
The youngest member of Oak Bay High student council as Grade 9 representative last year, teachers and classmates describe him as a dedicated student with a passion for the world around him.
“I can already see what a passionate and driven individual he is,” Linden Anderson, student council co-president said in the YES Award nomination. “Being the youngest of the group in council, it always impresses me how vocal Oleg is about the matters of which he cares for. With his strong character and persistence I believe Oleg will accomplish many things throughout his life.”
Saldyga, who moved here from the Ukraine six years ago and still speaks with an accent, was among 10 youth who earned an Oak Bay Young Exceptional Star Award.
Also an exceptional math student, he was on the Oak Bay High Math Challengers team.
“We did pretty well, third at regionals,” he said.
Saldyga enjoys sports as well, playing on the Bays United Silver U15 soccer team.
“My favourite position is striker because you get to score goals,” he said with a grin.
He also puts his running skills to use on the school track team, this year competing primarily in the 400 metre, 4×400 relay and 4×100 relay.
“I don’t have lots of spare time,” he said.