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Student leader develops inspiring event for youth

Student leader develops inspiring event for youth

Tuesday, April 05, 2016
Categories: Great Things, Happenings @ TDSB, School Web Stories

On March 21, 2016, Debbie Dada, the 16-year-old Toronto Youth Councillor for York South-Weston, hosted an exciting event called Find Your Path. The goal of the event was to inspire young people by helping them understand that they have potential, and to aim high academically and professionally.

Presented by the City Youth Council of Toronto, a democratically-elected group working to increase youth civic participation by empowering communities and delivering hands-on learning opportunities, 150 students from three different schools across Toronto attended the free event: Weston Collegiate Institute, CR Marchant MSand Jarvis Collegiate Institute.

There were insightful speeches by motivational speakers and distinguished guests such as International Supermodel Stacey McKenzie and TDSB Ward 6 Trustee Chris Tonks. The event also included panel discussions and workshops that provided students with practical advice to help them identify their skills and passions, and set career goals. 

Attendees had an opportunity to meet professionals in various fields such as a pharmacist, an electrician, lawyers, and entrepreneurs, to hear firsthand what it takes to be successful in their industry of interest. MP Ahmed Hussen awarded Find Your Path with a certificate of commendation for its work to empower youth.

Dada, who is also a grade 11 student at Weston CI, created the event because she noticed that many young people in her community lacked the motivation necessary to make the most of their education. “Many students are afraid that even if they apply themselves fully, they will still be unsuccessful so they don't try at all,” she said. “I wanted to do something to change this, so I decided to make Find Your Path.” With direction from established professionals, students were also provided with the resources and information necessary to make their goals a reality.

Diana, a grade 8 student from CR Marchant MS who attended the conference considered the event a success and said that “even though there will be obstacles in my way, I learned today to never give up.” 

Francesca, another grade 8 student agreed and added “I now know that even if you’re disabled you can still pursue your dreams.”

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