Asim Aziz is a Grade 12 student at Emery Collegiate Institute with a passion for business. He is an active volunteer in his faith community and also contributes to the charitable organization Humanity First.
"I have lived in this community for as long as I can remember, so I ... love the individuals that surround me here."
Abdi Mohamed is a graduate of Emery Collegiate with a passion for community development through economic empowerment. Abdi is in his final year of the Community Service Worker program at George Brown College, and plans to pursue his Bachelors degree in Community Economic & Social Development. He has volunteered for several local community agencies and has provided mentorship and guidance to youth in the community. Abdi is a life long learner and fervent believer that education is the passport to the future. He strongly believes that education and economic empowerment will allow his community to thrive and prosper.
"I love the diversity in my community. I love walking in to the Jane and Finch mall and seeing people of all colors and from all countries. I think our diversity is our strength. Our community is full of hard working people who came [here] for a better life for themselves and their family...I love the passion that parents have for their children and their future. I love my community because it is like a rainbow made up of amazing and wonderful people."
Grace Good is a student, mother, employee and active community member and advocate. She is in her final year of the Community Service Worker program at George Brown College, and plans to pursue her Bachelors of Social Work degree. She has volunteered for several charitable organizations including the Jean Tweed Center and Hummewood House and, has a passion working with mothers and their children. Grace believes in using her personal journey to help others in similar positions, and has guest presented at several forums including the Best Start Forum and York University's - Young Mother's Empowerment Forum.
"I love the Jane and Finch community because this was my first community where I started to build my foundation after a life on the streets as a youth due to a major family breakdown. The Jane and Finch community has housed the first years of my son's life and will offer me fond memories as I start to lay the bricks of my future on my personal journey as a student, mother, employee and active community member and advocate. Many people have their own negative stereotypes of the Jane and Finch community however what I see is a community that has a make-up of so many individuals from vast parts of the globe. Individuals who have seen nothing but hardship like another community but still try to prevail and hope for the best for the next generation to come."
Henry is a 1st year student at York University and, plans to pursue a career in teaching. He is an avid tennis player, further honing his tennis skills as a teacher for younger youth in the Jane/Finch Tennis League. He has volunteered with Community Microskills Development Centre, and in the summer of 2011, served as a youth assistant with the Assets Coming Together for Youth project through Tropicana Community Services' Summer Jobs for Youth program.
"My community has done more than I ever asked of it. It sustains criticism from the naive that throw their prejudiced remarks and ill will at it. My community continues to not only shelter me, but it also allows me to progress as a person everyday that I wake up. It teaches me something about myself, those around me and the community itself whenever I walk around it. My community allows the youth to engage in activities which then makes parents happy. I love my community because it has and always will take care of all those who reside in it."
Nnali is a 1st year Social Work student at Ryerson University with a passion for working with children. She is an active volunteer with Broad African Resource Centre, serving as a tutor for their After School Homework Help Club and as an assistant with their Justice, Crime Prevention & Rehabilitation Initiatives. Nnali also volunteers with the Southern Kaduna in Diaspora Canada (SOKAD).
"I love my community because my community is me. As a member of this community, it is important that when I am out of the community, I represent my community in a positive light. Jane and Finch has something in common with me. To outsiders and those who have no personal connections, we are quickly misunderstood and sometimes made out to be something we are not. My community is home. Home is where the heart is, within the heart is love and love is what I have for my community."
Talisha is a 2nd year student at York University and an active community and student volunteer. She has volunteered for several local initiatives, providing support to her local faith organization, the Canadian Cancer Society and a local tutoring program at Daystrom Public School. Most notably, Talisha is a WAY (Westview Alliance at York) mentor, assisting first year, first generation students at York University transition into their post-secondary careers.
Talisha plans to pursue her B.Ed. and her MSW in hopes of working with youth in the education system. She plans to give back to the Jane/Finch community by working with its youth and using her education to their benefit.
"I love my community for so many reasons. My community has played a huge role in molding me into the person I am now. The Jane and Finch community is a multicultural community with all types of people. As such from a young age I was taught about all types of ethnicities and traditions. The Jane and Finch community is like a huge family, I always feel safe there. Everyone in the community is willing to help one another. It does have its flaws but nothing is perfect. The community has motivated me to go to University as I am aware that not everyone gets that opportunity and I should therefore take advantage of it. I hope to one day give back to the community that has given me so much."