2011 Youth-Led Committee Bios
The purpose of the Youth-led Committee is to ensure that Jane/Finch youth are engaged in ACT for Youth's research processes. Specifically, the Youth-led Subcommittee oversees:
- ACT's Youth Research Internship Programme that is aimed at
building the research capacity of youth in the Jane/Finch community
- The participation of youth on ACT for Youth's Research Working
- The development and implementation of community-based research
projects that are initiated by youth.
Olivia is currently finishing her last year at Westview Centennial Secondary School. She has volunteered in her school and at the Yorkwoods Public Library, as well as an after-school program which helps students create and put together their own music. She has also been part of a nursing program with mentors from York University for the past two years.
"Why do I love my community? Because it is a great community filled with great people who have great minds and have bright futures ahead of them."
||Edwin Francis White Chacon|
Edwin is a grade 11 student at Emery Collegiate Institute. He started a Latino club to help promote Latin culture and history throughout the school, took part in handing out the ACT survey last year, and is currently involved in the Student, Athletic, Principalís and Super Councils. His hobbies include soccer, drawing, and reading biographies of motivational people.
"Why do I love my community? Well whatís there not to love?"
Ann is currently enrolled in the Claude Watson Arts program in Screen Arts at Earl Haig Secondary School. She has promoted literacy and reading to young children as part of the McKee Reading Club, acted in a school play, has been part of various choirs and orchestras, and is part of a collective who will be performing an original production internationally at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the summer.
"Having only lived here for 5 years, I feel that it wasnít long enough to develop a deep understanding for this community. One of the main reasons why I decided to join this committee is because I would love the opportunity to gain a better understanding and to be able to feel like Iím a part of the Jane and Finch neighborhood. There are strengths and weaknesses in all communities, but I hope by being a part of this I could help strengthen this community."
Nicola has a Bachelors of Arts in Criminology & Sociology from the University of Windsor. She has served as administrative assistant for the For Youth Initiative, assistant youth
worker for New Beginnings, and fundraising coordinator for the Easter Seals Society. Extra-curricular experience includes Student Council Minister of Social Events, and she assisted with the DIVA program in Jane and Finch. She is interested in community justice and would like to have a career in public policy.
"I love my community because there is potential with these youth and once they realize what they are worth, they are able to strive to new and amazing opportunities. Though the Jane and Finch community has various barriers, they also have a strong unity that allows them to forget about their troubles and just be youth. This community has the most real and energetic youth in Toronto."
Taneese will be graduating from grade 12 in June. She is an after-school mentor at her school with a program called Success Beyond Limits,
as well as serving as acting president of the Westview Students Council. She volunteers at her local church as a teacher, and has also worked in a project helping Jane and Finch girls make better decisions regarding their sexual health. Her hobbies include singing, dancing, debating and planning successful events.
"I love my community because I am a part of my community. I make and shape my community. I am the difference, the
possibility and the truth of my community. I love my community because my community is me and I love me!!"
||Enoruwa Ellis Osagie
Enoruwa Osagie, or Enora to her friends, is a Grade 10 student at William Lyon
Mackenzie Collegiate Institute with a passion for languages and people. She is a
long-term Jane-Finch community resident and has lived in the community for 13 of
her 17 years of life! Although only in Grade 10, Enora has volunteered as a Peer
Facilitator in Aspiring Leaders young women's summer camp, and has contributed
to administrative tasks, including efforts to secure funding at Women of Race
Climbiting It Together.
"One thing I really like about the
Jane-Finch community is despite how drowned in stereotypes we are by outside
(and inside) forces, there are still individuals in the community who refuse to
be defeated by these forces and are able to create change and effectively impact
the community in a positive, civil way...the media and human opinion tend to
shape the community based on how these factors want it as a result, the people
who live inside the space unwillingly feel obliged to follow up on those
expectations laid out by those same forces...To be able to know that I can
become something outside of what has been assumed, knowing that I can look
judgement in the eye and take back my role in society, creates an opportunity
for me and others to stand up and shake norms."
Tara is a student at Westview Centennial Secondary School. She would like to go into Social Work after high school, and is very passionate about making her community a better place.
"I think youth need to understand that they are not alone, and that there are people in this world and community who actually care and are willing to help. After high school, there's a whole different world out there."
Abubakar is in grade 11 at Emery Collegiate, in the Emery Cyber Science and STEPS to University programs. He has tutored middle school students in math & science, kept score at school games, and acted as school ambassador for visitors and parents, as well as serving on the student council. Other activities include Youth Speak, raising awareness and money for global projects; writing for the school paper, and participating in the debate & culture clubs and Robotics Team.
"I feel very strongly about my community because this is where I grew up and currently go to school. The media has done a lot of damage in portraying and stigmatizing this community. This isnít right because in reality this community has many positive aspects to it, which abundantly outweigh the negative aspects."
Suhentha is in her third year at C.W. Jefferys C.I. She has volunteered at Derrydown Public School, teaching and helping children with their Tamil language, and at Peace Camps where she teaches children the meaning of Peace in various ways such as games, arts and crafts. She was on the Student Council from grade 6 to 8 and decided to continue it this year in grade 11. Her hobbies
include reading non-fiction books, cooking, bicycling and using computers.
"One thing I really like about my community is that there are a lot of programs for youths when they are in need of help. I also like the diversity in my community. It gives me a chance to learn about different cultures. I especially love meeting new people and making new friends. I am also given the privilege to volunteer in my community which gives me a chance to help people."
Alexander will be graduating from high school this June. He has worked as a co-op student at York University in Research and Field Development; volunteered at school, church and community events, and served with the Youth Leadership Forum. He is also a member of the Cadet Corps, which has given him valuable training and leadership experience.
"I believe this community has a lot of potential, but somebody
who is ready to implement a plan needs to come along and make a difference. The community is quite amazing because, although it is racially diverse, almost everyone is in the same economic status and understands one another. People are more likely to help each other if they see
similarities in each another."