Tanisha Roy from Conyers School, Yarm, has been elected as the Borough’s MP for the UK’s Youth Parliament.
She received 2,183 votes, coming top of the polls in five schools, and her Deputy is Emily Hill from Our Lady and St Bede Catholic Academy in Stockton who received 1,550 votes.
Thousands of pupils from 14 schools were invited to vote in the elections which were held in schools for the fourth time this year.
They were run exactly like formal elections for national MPs, with secret ballots and carefully controlled counts and generated an impressive 66.4% turnout.
Tanisha, 15, from Yarm, pledged to increase awareness of mental health and substance abuse to assist those in the local community to thrive and prosper.
She said: “My mother, who works as a psychiatrist, and I see the effects of these issues all the time. She talks to me about how fragile the human mind is but that there are ways for each and every one of us to help ourselves and each other. I want to be part of the solution and help people around me.”
Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Councillor Bob Cook, said: “A huge congratulations to Tanisha on winning this election. The standard of the candidates has been exceptional and a reminder that local people can help to shape the future of our communities, whatever your age.
“This is also a timely opportunity to remind residents that they must be registered to vote if they want to have their say in the local, parish and town council elections in May. Although they cannot vote until they’re 18, young people who have turned 16 can also be added to the Electoral Register so I would encourage them to register too.”
Councillor Ann McCoy, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, added: “The five young candidates did extremely well and it’s clear they are all passionate about making a positive difference to their peers and the wider Borough.
“It’s incredibly important that we engage young people in democracy and give them opportunities such as the Youth Parliament to make their voice heard. I’m looking forward to working with Tanisha and Emily on the issues that matter to them most.”
The other candidates who stood for election were Netanya Alwis (Ian Ramsey CE Academy), Amelia Collins (St Michael’s Catholic Academy) and Kaitlyn Sedgewick (Thornaby Academy).
Residents can register to vote in May’s elections online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or by phoning the Voter Registration Helpline on 01642 526196.