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Paris Lavega, Criminal Justice

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My hero: Martin Luther

Martin Luther (95 Theses) Although his works dates back to the 16th Century, Martin Luther has impacted contemporary Roman Catholicism today. He is my Hero because he stood out in front of a whole country and protested his beliefs about catholicism.

He created, what we now know as the '95 theses' which exemplifies how the roman catholic church is more of a business instead of a place of worship. At the time the church was selling indulgences that would ensure one's ticket into heaven. Martin Luther fought and argued that eternity in heaven is not earned by good deeds but is received only as a free gift of God's grace. In doing so, he hammered a document titled 95 these to the front of the church doors as to why he believes the catholic church is corrupt. He later than got excommunicated by the church, and was later known as the man who fought for what he believed in. This is why Martin Luther is my hero.

Ali Faize, Criminal Justice

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My Hero: Mom

The person who inspired me to be in Humber College enrolling in Criminal Justice Applied Degree, is my mom. Ever since childhood, I have been lazy when it came to doing school assignments. Laziness was exacerbated with being careless. I used to get poor grades in high school and my mother used to push me to work hard. Inspite of all that, I was careless and lazy.

My mother always says to me, "I would like to see you fly in sky and be smart. You have a brain, and you can achieve the impossible once you use it". Her words never seem to hit my brain until the year before my graduation from high school. When I was done high school, I immediately noticed what sort of career is in my interest. I started showing interest in literature, law and psychology. Knowing that the profession of psychology is not realistic career, I chose to study Criminal Justice and sometimes in my life enroll in law school and hopefully study family law. It takes efforts and encouragement to study and become something. If it was not for my mother pushing me, I would not have realized what my interest is and how much effort I should put towards it. If I ever in my life get any award or anything special from post-secondary institution like Humber College, I will make sure to mention my mother's name and dedicate it to her. She deserves all the credit to the reason I am here. I cannot thank my mother enough. Every mother probably does that for their son or daughter, but my mother undoubtedly deserves a lot of credit and praise for the reason I am here and for the reason I am who I am. That's all. Thank you

Georgiette Mitchell, SSW

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My hero: Youth Without Shelter

Hello and thank you for this great opportunity to share my story. I arrived in Canada at the age of 12 to live with my father for 2 years then wound up staying with family and friends until my sixteenth birthday when I found myself at a youth hostel. I was a polite child with great performance and involvement in school so I didn't understand my fate. Being, homeless, confused and alone in what was still a new country made me scared and angry because I didn't want to be hurt anymore. I started having a bad attitude while residing at Youth Without Shelter and thought my dreams, life, all was over.

I thought the staff cared only about their salary and not of our wellbeings because I had made up my mind that they didn't have to face the same challenges. I was wrong to have thought that but I'm grateful of the day I yelled out "you guys (the staff) don't know what we are going through because you've never lived it." That outburst led to a discussion with someone who saw through me, this person knew I was intelligent with potential to be successful. They also knew that deep down I was scared with a kind heart. He reminded me that life has a lot to offer and explained that they would assist me to move forward with mine. I then learnt that Youth Without Shelter is not just a transitional home, but, a bridge to self worth. I am happy to say that after 9 years I have been able to appreciate and make use of the advice they provided and have even dropped off a few donations to say thanks. I am currently in the SSW program in hopes of assisting young adults in the future to strive towards their own self-sufficiency. Thank you, Georgiette Mitchell

James Mehisto, Criminal Justice

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My hero: Grandfather and Grandmother

My heroes are my Grandfather and grandmother on my dads side of the family. During the second wold war my grandfather was a police officer in Estonia. When they went under Soviet control there were mass political arrests, deportations and executions. As a police officer there was a strong chance that my grandfather would have been killed.

While my grandmother had little to no communication as he hid underground for 6 months they had a plan to flee the country by boat. when the time came they and a few others met at a beach with a boat and fled Estonia. In what makes this sound like a fairytale they ran into a German ship but at the same time a Finnish ship. the two military vessels argued over who would take the people and the Germans finally allowed the Finnish to take them. It is with their bravery that I am here today.

Jovana Minic , Police foundations

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My hero: Mary MacLachlan

While browsing impatiently on the Humber College homepage, and looking for the results from my latest assignment, I stumbled upon a contest titled, "Who is your hero?" At first, the contest did not catch my attention, because my mind was focused elsewhere. Unfortunately, there was no sign of my results, so, I decided to close the page and go on with my daily routines. Later that day, the contest crossed my mind one more time. I decided to open the web and take a look at what this contest was all about. After reading the contest, I was astounded, and there was no hesitation in regards to who I would define as my hero. While many characterize the meaning of a "hero" differently, to me a hero is someone special. Based on my opinion, a hero is someone that motivates, encourages and supports an individual in the journey called life.

A hero is someone who is willing to sacrifice anything, including their life, in order to help others in difficult times. For a hero, the devotion to others is the only factor that can truly satisfy them and brighten their day. Furthermore, a hero is someone who can educate and provide one with knowledge about the failure and successes of life, thus preparing them for the near future. Overall, these are a few of the many characteristics that classify my definition of a hero. Although, I have not known my hero for an extensive period of time, I am proud to call her a true hero and a role model in my life. I can sincerely say that she has influenced and motivated me to such a great extent. Now, I look at my ambitions and dreams from an achievable perspective. My ultimate goal of becoming an Ontario Provincial Police Officer (O.P.P) has always been my ambition and dream in life.

While my hero may not be aware of this, this dream of mine was never supported by my family or friends. As a result, I have always been in a state of confusion in terms of my dream. After applying for the Police Foundation Program, I met my hero. Attending her classes was something I always looked forward to. Lesson after lesson showed me not only her perspective on life as an O.P.P officer, but what an exemplary officer should be. Her stories about her experiences in the police force not only showed her dedication in helping others, but how others are able to do the same. Through these personal memorandums and class discussions, my hero has not only taught me about the qualities that make one a successful officer, but how to stay motivated no matter the opinion of others. Although she may not be aware of the positive impact she has had on me, I am proud to say that I have learned much about myself through her teachings and care. Thank you, Mary MacLachlan, for being a great hero to me.

Francesca Carone , Police foundations

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My hero: Family

A hero is someone who helps others, with a social, physical or emotional need. A hero moves out of their own comfort zone to help others, and may put their life at risk for others. My hero is my family, I know most people have one person as their hero; however, I have four. My two sons and my two daughters are my hero's because they wake up every day and are always eager to put a smile on my face, even though I don't feel up to it. They give me hugs, kisses, and help cheer me up when I don't feel great.

With their funny stories, their silly jokes and their love, there is nothing that I could have better than that. I cannot think of any hero that could help someone as emotionally, socially, and sometimes even physically as they do me. The power of tickles, hugs, stories, and love- show me that there is hope for the future of the planet. When I feel like the world is not a good place, they cheer me up and bring me hope. These children, as well as others, are other future of this earth, and when they can be hero's to adults, it means that some hope still remain on this planet for mankind. When it comes to school, they have supported me and inspired me through their love of knowledge and education.

Through their eyes, I have found a reason to strive for a better education. The love of learning is easily found in young children, and continues (if nurtured). My heroes have inspired me to get back into college and find something to do that I love, so that I could help them achieve their goals in the future. My four children have inspired me to learn, but they also rescue me (as a hero would do) from despair, hopelessness, and fear; and for this gift of love and education, I thank them.

Samantha Ellis , Community and Justice Services

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My hero: Friend, Nicole

As a young kid, I always thought that a hero was one to save lives for example firefighters, police officers and nurses. It recently occurred to me that a hero can be a person who is always there for me no matter what predicament I have gotten myself into. My hero is one of my closest friends, Nicole.

In our grade 12 year she had decided to take the career path of becoming a high school teacher. In the back of my head I know she is going to be a great teacher because she is always lending a helping hand and encouraging others to do better simply because she knows they can. During the second semester of her first year at Brock University in the Concurrent Education program she had found a lump on her neck.

This lump turned out to be tumor or known as Hodgkin's lymphoma- a cancer that attacks the lymph nodes. As result she had to leave Brock in early April to undergo chemotherapy. Devastated and torn as she was Nicole still applied to go back in September to complete a few courses once a week. She is my hero because when I was thinking of giving up this program, I would think of her striving and giving it every ounce of energy she has left to finish that paper in order not to fall that far behind in school, even though her body is taking that huge hit. I am very happy to report that she just recently finished her 12 and final round of chemotherapy and currently waiting for final results. In the mean time Nicole goes to school all day on Wednesdays and on her off days she is completing homework and hanging out with friends of course.

 

Dennis Woodcock , SSW

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My hero: Niece, Danielle

"Who is your hero?" you ask Just where would I start? How can I solve this task? My parents play a vital part But a ‘Hero' who inspired Seems to seek other things Than the Mother and the Father Who gave my spirit wings Could it be a teacher? My life is full of those For teaching does not end When the school doors close My brothers both have taught me My friends have taught me too About the kind of man I want to be A man whose heart is true My nephews all have taught me To look at life's unending joys.

Through eyes filled with wonder Those three amazing boys You asked what inspiration Has led me to this place So I make this dedication To my niece's unending grace For Danielle is my hero Because of her I went this way She is my motivation When I come to school each day From the day that she was born I tried to be as good as I could be To be a better person So she could look up to me My nephews were born a little later And they all mean the world to me But my niece Danielle came first And she is what altered me She was a brilliant student The kind that teachers love I would watch in wonder As her grades would rise above Back in her daycare days She made arts & crafts for me And in every hand drawn card Her heart was plain to see My little niece grew taller With every passing grade My admiration grew as well And that will never fade Through middle school she collected Each award that her school had And then onto high school Where in a blink she was a grad She headed off to college And worked without slumber Until the day she earned A BASc at Guelph-Humber I know that school is tough Her hard work was the key And as if that were not enough She got her Master's at U of T Then my life took a turn I needed to find a brand new way So I sought advice from Danielle And this is what she had to say: "If you study Social Work the path's a rewarding trail. Helping people in their need and you will never fail." So for all the changes in my life Throughout these years and days Danielle is my hero In about a million ways

Shefat Golam , Child and Youth Care

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My hero: Mentor, Olan do

High school is a tough time for everyone. I had it specially rough. High school had it's moments, sadly i had more downs than ups, but thankfully i had one person i could always relay on. I was part of a program called "Pathway to Education". This program helped me through school and we were provided a mentor. This mentor was assigned to everyone within the program at my high school.

So my mentor, Olando Harris was looking out after 30 kids. He was able to create a bond and get the trust of all of us. Whenever we needed someone to talk to he was there for us. There was a point in my high school life, when everything was going wrong. My "friends" all left me and i was being bullied by all the girls in my school. My boyfriend cheated on me and told me i was nothing but an experiment and worst of all my brother was in the hospital. I had nothing going for me and all i could do is cry, but i had no friends so i was alone. I was wrong, Olando was there for me. When i needed someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on he was there. without him i would have not been able to make it through that tough time. Olando inspired me to choose this path of career. I want to be able to help change someones life, as he did mine.

Meghan ferguson , Community and Justice Services

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My hero: Brother

My brother is my hero. He is the motivation behind my absolute need to help people, the be the voice of reason and support for some and to speak up for those who maybe have a hard time or cannot speak for themselves.

My big brother John and his actions helped shaped me into the compassionate and empathetic person I strive to be on a daily basis. He is the reason why I have the ability to look outside of the box and judge no one. My beautiful blue eyed brother John felt judged and alone until he couldn't take it anymore...I am here because I need to transform the pain I feel daily from holding my only brother's hand as his heart stopped into something positive. I am here for John Robert Albert Hernandez (1982-2010)

Taylor Dicks , Criminal Justice Degree Program

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My hero: R.A. Salvator

My hero is not your typical hero. Many people often choose famous individual, world activists, and others who have done well known amazing or inspiring things. Others may even choose real superheroes. While all individuals are undeniably some of the best hero's our world has seen, my personal hero is slightly off the radar. My hero is a fantasy book author, my hero is R.A. Salvatore.

R.A. Salvatore is well known for his extensive series about a justice seeking dark elf. Without diving to deep into the world Salvatore has created, he has become my hero through his books. Reading them makes time fly, brings peace to my mind and is never disappointing. In a sense, I am saved every time I open one of his books and begin to read. This claim to fame series is centred of a protaganist who seeks to find justice wherever he came, and bring peace into locations that are experiencing chaos. I believe this is one of the sources behind my initital desire to become a police officer. The morals and values communicated through the pages of his surreal books resonated with me in a way that I would never have expected. R.A. Salvatore is no actor, is not all that famous, and surely does not have supernatural powers (that I know of) but he surely is my hero, has saved me many time and is my inspiration.

Shawn Watt , Criminal Justice

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My hero: Nelson Mandela

My hero is Nelson Mandela because of the hardship he went through to bring a country together. Mandela spent almost 30 years of his life in prison.

After his release he ran to become the leader of South Africa, and won. He changed a nation that was once apartheid, and turned it into people coming together to promote peace and love. Once Mandela became the leader nobody saw a difference in skin colour of a person. This is why Nelson Mandela is my hero.

Shawn Kronemberg , SSW

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My hero: Nelson Mandela

I came to Canada with my family in 2008. Back home I was a flight attendant. I had to come to Canada for a better future for my kids, and to escape the bitter war that was going on for decades; back in my country. Once I came to Canada; It was difficult for me to focus on another carrier, as my previous experience was in the Aviation field for 15 years. My wife and I met a settlement worker who guided us through the Canadian system. She encouraged us to volunteer so that it would be an advantage for our future goals. At the same time to gain Canadian experience too. I volunteered with my present employer for almost 7 months.

West Toronto Support Services for seniors is a non-profit organization, serving the seniors in the community. During my time volunteering with WTSS, I got the opportunity to apply for a job within. I faced many challenges during my work period, as I didn't know exactly what direction to focus on. Because my passion is working with people, I was finding it very exciting working with seniors. The seniors love to spend time with me and speak about their concerns. Even though I could listen to their concerns it limited me from helping them. The reason being, my job functions didn't meet the criteria. There was one Social Worker in our organization. I sat with her one day and mentioned to her about my concerns. I stated that I would like to be a Case Manager but I don't have the qualifications to apply for the job.

Her words that day to me " Shawn You would be a wonderful CM, the Seniors love you!" inspired me to work towards my goal. She helped me search for colleges and recommended the SSW program. She said this would be a great way to start and eventually, peruse my studies in becoming a Social Worker. I enrolled for the program at Humber College and she guided me with every process. If she didn't encourage me I wouldn't have come so far. At present I'm in the SSW part time stream and hoping to complete my program my April 2014. I'm a father of three and going back to college has never been better. Professors have given me great feed back and I have always taken it with a positive attitude. I'm with my present employer yet. I have worked my way up from being a Friendly Visiting Coordinator, to Social Programmer, to Adult day Programmer. Now, I'm currently working as A Case Manager. I was promoted based on my work and my current SSW program. Yes,I did it! My sincere thanks go to my former colleague, the Social Worker who help me chose my path.

Andrea Drazic, Criminal Justice

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My hero: Grandfather

My hero is my grandfather Ilija. When I was younger he would tell me stories about his life and show me how to do things around the farm.

Because of him I learned how to do everything from growing olives to raising livestock. I'll never forget one night when I broke a plastic bow and arrow we got from the market, he took twigs and string and made me a new bow and arrow (which was a lot cooler and went farther than the plastic one).

He told me that I can always find a way to fix something or do what I want if I put my mind to it and have a bit of creativity. Although he passed away, he will always be my hero and because of him I have never let an obstacle stop me from getting where I want to be.

Kristina Lombardi, Criminal Justice

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My hero: Mom

My definition of a hero is someone that demonstrates qualities which are worthy of being looked up to. Many people may consider superheroes or celebrities fitting to the title hero but my hero falls close to home. My mom is not only my best friend but is my hero. My mom is undoubtedly one of the people I look up to most. After raising my sister and I for 17 year on her own after getting out of an abusive marriage, she always manages to put us first even if that meant her going to bed hungry. Between raising two children while battling her own health issues, she spends a significant amount of time taking care of her mother who suffered a heart attack and a stroke last year.

My mom has definitely played a huge role in my life. She demonstrates qualities I can only hope to have when I have a family. She is constantly making sacrifices to give my sister and I the best possible life she can. She is always the first one to lend a helping hand and never expects anything in return. My mom is caring, patient and loving. She consistently encourages my sister and I to follow our dreams no matter how far off they may be. She encourages everyday while I have been at Humber. Knowing that I want to become a Police Officer, she gives me positive encouragement, believes in me and has been there every step of this journey. She wants me to have the best possible future with success and to be financially stable and not have to worry about living cheque to cheque ever again. She teaches us that with a positive attitude, hard work and perseverance you can do anything you set your mind to. She inspires me to want to do better than I did yesterday and be a better person. She taught me that no matter what happens you can pull through it. I've learned that anything in life is an experience and if you take it and learn from it, you can better yourself as a person. Growing up with very little money, she always tries to make ends meet even if it didn't happen often. She always puts us before herself and never rewards herself because of the financial burden she carries. I'd like to win this iPad for her. She has kept a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in, clean clothes and food on the table. She always puts us before herself and I believe she deserves recognition for the many sacrifices she has made over the years. Not all heroes wear capes and my mom is certainly my hero.

Alina Witjes, BA of Child and Youth Care

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My hero: Mum

Who is my Hero? My hero would have to be my mum. My mum is the woman who pushed me to be who I am, drove me to try my best and told me to never to surrender. She always would tell me I can make a difference and that I can do anything I want to. Fortunately I believed her.

I never planned on leaving home for school after graduating, or even the city for that matter. But now I live three hours away, and am even planning on leaving the country in a few years after I get my degree. I didn't believe I could do a lot when I was younger, and without her I know I wouldn't be the strong and confident individual I am today. My mum would always say "Forza" meaning strength when I was ever down. She is my rock, she is a strong woman who helped me realize that love is an amazing gift and we all deserve it. She is the person who helped get me through high school, helped make coming home bearable on the worst days. She is my rock, and I am hers. I know that everything I do, she supports and will stand by me no matter what. She taught me so much, and I know I can never, ever, repay her for doing so. She taught me to be able to laugh at myself and my mistakes, to be able to pick myself up when I was down and to always, regardless of the situation, hold my head high and smile at the people who want to bring me down. I can only hope that if I have children in the future that they will look at me the way I look up to my mum. My mum is my hero.

Gregory Giliauskas, Criminal Justice

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My hero: Dad

Who is my Hero? If i had to pick one person in the whole entire world, fictional or not, my hero would be my dad. My dad is literally the best person in the entire world. Being born in Australia, my dad had come from a family who did not have the most money, to immigrating to Canada as a young boy and growing into a loving father who would do anything for his kids. And i think that is just it. He would do anything for anyone but mostly his kids.

Even coming down to letting his son take his car everyday to school to get an education while he stands in the cold taking the bus everyday, Growing up I remember distinct times where all I ever wanted to be was like my father, from down to grabbing a piece of sandpaper to help him "wax" his Corvette or just sitting next to him pretending to have a beer. I looked up to him all my life and still do til this day. He is my hero because of who he is, what he does, and how he positively effects the people around him. My hero is my father.

Kayla Bannister, Criminal Justice

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My hero: Sister, Deanna

Who is my hero you may ask, well it would be none other than my lovely older sister Deanna. From the day I was born, I was always look up to my sister; not just because she was taller, but because I wanted to be like her. I was a very late walker, in fact I never even crawled, I slithered like a snake. It was my sister that taught me how to walk when she was only 3 years old herself. I was definitely that annoying little sister that wanted to be just like her and do and act as she did. When my sister joined the swim team, I joined too. But as we got older, I began to realize just how amazing she really is.

Deanna is always kind to others and puts other people before herself, no matter how much the kids would tease her at school or on the swim team, she would look past that and continue to be the same loving person she was. When it came to me, she was the one who helped me become brave enough to stand up for myself because she said "if you do not start standing up for yourself, people are going to walk all over you". When I was finishing up my first program in police foundations, I thought about continuing education but I just figured I would not be smart enough to pass and I did not want to go into the program and flunk out. Deanna was the one who gave me the courage and taught me to believe in myself that I am smart enough to complete a degree program; and here I am graduating in April 2014 with a degree and it is all thanks to my sister for encouraging me to even apply.

Without my sister, I would not be the woman that I am today and I most certainly would not be graduating from a degree program without her support to push me to go for it. She has always told me to follow my dreams and to at least try, because if you do not at least try you will never know what could have been. I love my sister dearly and even though we live 4 hours away, we still talk everyday. She is my sister, my hero, and more importantly my best-friend.

Sweeta Yaqubi, Criminal Justice

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My hero: Sister

I am a middle eastern girl and fortunately the first girl to come to college and pursue my education and the whole credit goes to one person. My sister Ruia. She was married back home at the age of 14 and never had a chance to complete her education even when she had huge dreams she wanted to fulfil. I would have ended up in the same path but for me, she is like a backbone. I remember her coming in the middle of the night in our house in Afghanistan, yelling and crying to turn down my marriage purposal and that time I was only 16. She knew how it feels to be alone and no one supporting you, she knows how it feels when your dreams are shattered and you cant do anything about it. But the reason she is my hero is because she never give up!

She went thru her hardship with her in-laws and the abusive relationship with her husband. I remember her crying in front of my mother for hours and than stand up, wipe her tears and whisper to herself, it will get better. And it eventually did, soon our dark nights turn to beautiful days after her tons of struggle and hard work, we all moved to Canada. I cannot explain the joy in her voice when she came to our house and was yelling, our life is going to change for good mother. After coming to Canada, yet it was another battle for her to fight. We had no place to go, no idea where to start and none of us even knew the language. But she pushed through it all, despite for not know the language, she found a job and started working double shifts to feed us. She is a strong women, extremely strong and aside of all the abuse she endured she did not ask for divorce from her husband and slowly even that relationship changed. Her husband started to treat her better and her relationship is an example to all our families. She is our ideal, not only mine but my parents are proud of her achievements and mostly how she values her culture and religion. After 10 years of marriage, she is now blessed with a baby boy and she is one loving mother, sister, daughter and wife that any person prays for. I love and respect my sister Ruia. Sweeta Yaqubi

Sean Feltoe, Criminal Justice

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My hero: Mother

Simply put my hero is my mom. I was Diagnosed in 2007 with HLH (Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis), a rare orphan disease that causes your white blood cells to attack not only the viruses in your body (normal function) but also all your organs. In and out of hospital for 9 months (Sick Kids) I was finally told after many failed treatments that I needed to have a Stem Cell Transplant.

Because of different policies and political reasons I was not able to have my transplant in Canada so I was sent to Cincinnati, OH. My mom stayed by my side for all 7 months in Cincinnati. Upon release, from Cincinnati Children Hospital I was on 5 IV meds and 56 pills daily. Needless to say my mom became a nurse after only a day of training on how to use the equipment that would save my life. She supported me through multiple seizures, surgeries, and hundreds of procedures but always was the positive person in the room. Could not have made it without her. Love you MOM

Brian Nguyen, Community Justice and Services

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My hero: Mother

When many of us think about heroes, the first thing that would come to mind is Spider-man, Wolverine, The Avengers, Superman or Batman. What most of us tend to overlook are the everyday heroes that make up our lives. Mine in particular is an immigrant from Vietnam who traveled across the Pacific Ocean on a boat that would almost resemble a raft, this person is my mother. Born and raised in Vietnam, my mother was the middle child in a family with over 10 siblings and 2 adults. Often in Vietnam traditions made it mandatory that women are to do housework such as cooking, cleaning, raising children, and much more. This work was passed down to my mother, but working on the family farm she had to tend to rice fields as well.

Their family unit was a team, everyone was sharing the work and helping each other get by. Unfortunately, tragedy struck them when the Vietnam War brought turmoil to the country. People were forced to enlist into the army to fight their Northern counter parts. My grandfather saw to the safety of his wife and children, he had to find a way to get them out and into safety. That is exactly what he did, he manage to use all the money the family had earned during their life in Vietnam to get a hold of passage onto a boat to somewhere else. The boat they got on had no clear destination or objective, it was destined to travel aimlessly in the ocean in till they were safe from the war. There are stories about many boats alike that have sunk in the ocean filled with immigrants that did not know how to swim. On the boat was where my mother first met my father which eventually led to my conception. Upon arriving into Canada my family was sponsored by a very generous family and thus began our life in Canada. In Canada my mother did not have aspirations of living the Canadian dream that they have heard about, she just wanted to make an honest living. Since her arrival into Canada my mother has been working blue collar jobs to support her newly immigrant family as well as her own, she did not get the luxury of going to school like her younger siblings. In the 1990s, my mother and father got a divorce ending a 15year marriage. From that moment in time the responsibility was on my mother to raise my brother, sister and I by herself. She did not give up because she was alone nor did complain about the work she knows she must do to survive. Till this day my mother continues to work a blue collar job in a linens factory. She works long hours each week at minimum wage in order to support us because the job offers her benefits that we can use. She is not particularly fond of her work but she knows what she must do in order to survive and give us a chance at a brighter future. The only reason I have been given the opportunity to be able to go to school and do what ever I want with my career is because of my mother. All those years that led up to the present has been because of the hard work she had put into building my future. Someday I wish to find a well paying career so that I can finally buy her a house and let her have the rest she well deserved.

Shirley-Anne MacLeod, Police Foundations

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My hero: Friends father, Don

Although I have many contributing factors to where I am today, I am in this program predominantly because of my childhood friend's father – Don Conibear. Growing up was never easy where I came from. I grew up in low-income/rent-geared to income housing. My parents divorced when I was about 4 years old. My brother grew up with a hole in his heart. My mother was schizophrenic. I grew up hopping between houses and taking on several paper routes at a time starting regularly at the age of 10 just to ensure I had the food and clothes that I needed in the house.

Originally, the money went to my family; however, as I noticed my petty $40 contribution wouldn't go very far, I learned to hunt for sales and get the biggest value out of my dollar to provide necessities for myself and my family. I ended up with multiple routes simultaneously. My father helped whenever he could; however, he left the province by the time I was 14 and was non-existent until I was nearly 19 and pregnant with my first child. Until this time, at the age of 9, I befriended a girl named Kira. Because I hopped between so many schools, I was new to this school and had no friends. Kira and I slowly became good friends; however, we sadly began distancing within high-school. Until we distanced from each other, her entire family had me over as often as they could, took me to places that I only could dream about, and showed me what a solid family unit looked like. They showed me parts of growing up that I will never forget.

Now, in particular, her father was a police officer. He didn't fit the stereotype of the typical police I had encountered as a child as he reminded me of a gentle teddy bear; however, when he asserted himself, he always found a way to do so without hostility. I grew up admiring his methods and watching how generous he was at all times. He was always eager to help people and always encouraged each child (all three of his and myself) to reach for the stars and attempt anything we co! uld drea m of. He was always full of laughter and always easy to approach. At the end of the day, even after working, he would still help with his family and relax once night time came about. I grew up always dreaming to be able to help people like he did and to give back to the community as he helped me. With that mentality instilled in me, I always ensured my line of work involved helping people. By the age of 12, I had a small babysitting and house cleaning business and by the age of 14 was working full time in the customer service field. Whenever I would see Kira and her family, I would think "I wish I could be an officer like him, but that would never happen" and instead, would admire from afar. Several years went by and I did not speak much with the Conibears. I witnessed and experienced a world of stories and upon dealing with officers regularly through my place of work, I often thought of the Conibears fondly.

When an opportunity arose for me to follow my dreams, I decided to try and apply to Humber in Police Foundations as a mature student and was accepted! Now, I am a mother of two beautiful children, in my second year at Humber, and on honour roll. I am active in my church and try to give back to the community on a regular basis. Furthermore, I recently contacted Don in regards to an assignment that related to his particular field and it was like talking to an old friend. He remembered me and helped me the best he could with my project. Don Conibear is the all-around hero. He helps save people on a regular basis as he targets his work in domestic violence cases. Without realizing it, he acts as a beacon of light and helps people out of the genuine kindness of his heart. Without him, I would not have seen policing as an attainable profession for "a person like me". The most admirable thing about Mr. Conibear is that he does not even realize the impact and positive impression him and his family has made in my life. For that, I will be forever grateful. As for now, I will contin! ue to dr eam, work hard, and pray to achieve my goals so that one day I can work as a fellow officer.

Christy Geddus, Social Service Worker

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My hero: Son and Niece

My story is somewhat complicated as for the reasons why I decided to become a social service worker, because I have multiple different reasons. I worked in the automotive, as a parts manager at dealerships for 11 years, before starting college. It was a great paying job that I fell into when I was 19. Since I was 14 years old, I have struggled with an eating disorder. To this day, I'm still struggling with it, but looking back, it's better than it was through-out the years. I had my son when I was 18 years old, didn't stay with his dad, but that has never been an issue, we have shared custody and get along great. Three years ago I entered into a relationship with a man, who at the time I thought was amazing. We were living together and I was starting to go down-hill. He was mentally abusing throughout our relationship, which I was not aware of until reflecting back. While with this man, he did encourage me to seek help for my eating disorder (that was one positive that happened). Through my doctor, he took me off work on sick leave, and using my short term benefits for income. Through trying to obtain long term benefits, I realized how much eating disorders are not recognized as a mental disorder and was denied. As a result, I left my job and went on unemployment sick leave through the government.

 

During my time off work I was trying getting support and help through Trellis. My doctor referred me to go to Homewood, to be enrolled in their eating disorder program. This would be a two-three year wait, to obtain an o-hip bed. Unless, I could pay $250 a day to utilize the two-three month program, I would and am still on a waitlist to get in. Through my experience of seeking help, I realized how there is little help out there for people that are struggling with mental illnesses. Through this endeavor I was still with the man, which I was wanting out of the relationship, but had nowhere for my son and I to go. I was going down a destructive path, I started drinkin! g, using marijuana, pretty much hitting rock bottom. Until, one night he came home from work and physically abused me. I left that night, and never looked back. After leaving him, my son and I moved into my mother's until I could find other another place to reside in. I applied for social housing, which because of the situation, we were made a priority and only had to stay at my mother's for four months. But, through that experience I learned the wait for my area is approximately two-three years. I thought this was unacceptable, being that there are families out there needing housing. Through those experiences I knew I needed to assist other people in need. Knowing and experiencing how little help is out there, I needed to do something. I still am struggling with my eating disorder, but it's a long road to recovery and through schooling, I'm better educated and learning the tools to cope better. I truly want to help and be a support for teenagers that are struggling with their demons. I struggled with mine as a teenager and turned to destructive coping methods. I'd like to be able to help others utilize more therapeutic methods than resorting to eating disorders, drugs, and other destructive coping methods. Teenagers are so impressionable, they need as much support as they can get. My son is soon to be 13, and just through what I've learned thus far has made a positive impact on my parenting towards him. My sons name is Blair, he's my life and I'm grateful for to have the knowledge I do, to better help him through the years and the years to come. My other reason is my niece, Leah she was born with cerebral policy. Leah is two and a half years old now, and this amazingly strong little girl. I call her princess Leah. Knowing that my niece is going to be having to deal with this disability the rest of her life, this really made me want to be a support for her and my sister. I have a 17 page story of my life that is much more detailed I did last year. Thanks Christy

Erol Sefkijovski, Criminal Justice

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My hero: Son and Niece

From everything out there that has inspired me throughout my lifetime I can say that this one thing is probably my most favourite HERO of all, my mother. I know many people have heard this all before but if it weren't for my mother I wouldn't be writing this story as of right now. Its not because my mom raised me, its not because my mom birthed me, its because she has been by my side ever since and not only that but she has saved my life. My mom saves my life almost every day like when i forget things i need for school at home, or things i need for work, etc. I didn't choose my mom as my HERO for those every day things, yes I'm grateful for them but there is this one particular day where if she wasn't there then I wouldn't be here right now.

 

Around 12 years ago I was right about 7 years old, I was in my house in my home country of Macedonia where I played like all children do. This specific day we had our entire family at our house for a get-together, as my family was talking I was playing with my little baby cousin as the time where I had lifted her up on my legs while i was lying down on the floor. My little baby cousin was playing with a fat plastic ring that was in her hands when she suddenly drops it in my mouth and gets stuck in my throat. This is when I started to choke on the ring because it got suck deep in my throat, i tried to call for help but i couldn't speak as I was losing oxygen. This is when i saw my life flash before my eyes as I knew i was going to die because nobody was around me and I was choking to death while my little cousin sat and watched me. My mom is my HERO because of what she did, some where, some how my mother had a bad feeling inside her that something bad was happening to me, she said that she felt something wrong so she came to the room to find me choking on the floor. She called for help but nobody heard her and I was still there choking on that plastic ring. Until this day I have no idea how my mom did what she did but its amazing what can happe! n when y ou have a bond with you parents. As I was choking my mom stuck her index finger all the way down my throat and managed to pull that ring out of my throat.

Again until this day I have no idea how she managed to get it out of my throat when I had such a small mouth, let alone know that I was in trouble in the first place. I consider my mom as my HERO, not only for that many things she does for me to make my life a more easier less stressful one, but for the many times she was there to save me from that bad mistakes that happened to me. I love my mom very much and I know I can never repay her for what she has done for me throughout my life but I can say that she has inspired me and she will always be my one and only HERO.

Chelsea Wilson-Flynn, Criminal Justice

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My hero: Father

When I was fifteen my mother was involved in a very abusive relationship, I chose not to live with her anymore and without even skipping a beat my father whom I had never really been close to opened up his arms and house to me. I will always be grateful for the opportunities he has given me, with the love and care of my father I turned my life around and started on the right path that has lead me to my career in Criminal Justice.

 

My father has always been an inspiration to me, he raised my brother alone and fought to be in the prominent position he is today. To top it all of over the summer my father also took in my little sister, who suffers from severe depression and was living with her father who also has the same mental illness. My father once more opened his arms to a little girl who isn't even of his blood and yet again changed her life forever.

When I see my little sister laughing and setting goals for herself, something she has never really done before I know that without the help of the great man that is my father she may have never seen just how special she is. Now that my mother and I are not close anymore, if someone gave me a magic wand and told me they were going to make me a better mother, I would tell them to save their magic because I have an amazing father!

Yanni Thepanya, Bachelor of Internatinal Development

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My hero: Orphan children in Southeast Asia

When asked the question, "who is your hero", I am almost 95% certain that the majority of the responce would be "my father", "my brother", "my baby" etc. My heroes, on the other hand, are a bunch of orphan children whom I met during my travels in southeast asia. I had always been interested in development but was either never motivated enough or was never pushed enough to pursue it. Ever since I finished high school, I (like many other people) never quite figured out exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I tried going to Georgian College for Tourism and Hotel Management, but never finished as I never found it to be a career for life kind of field (for me anyway). After that, I just kept working at random jobs (including lawn care, factories, call centres) just to make money and kill some time.

 

These random jobs got old fast and I found myself bored. One day, my good friend Tyler asked if I wanted to get an ESL certificate and asked if I considered teaching english overseas. I love new opportunities, so I took him up on his suggestion. After attaining the ESL certificate, I made plans to travel/backpack southeast asia to do some exploration and teaching on the side. Before I knew it, I was on an 8 hour flight to Bangkok, Thailand. From there, I branched out into the neighbouring countries as well, including Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam. The many people whom I met along the way (including locals and travellers) inspired me one way or another. But it's not until I reach Cambodia, that I found my true passion in life. The many smiling faces of the orphans at this one orphanage, made me realize how much I love development.

I wanted to help these kids, I wanted to see them in school, I wanted them to have a better life. That's how I got into my current program right now at Humber. It it weren't for them, I would have never pursued international development. After all, international development is about making life better for everyone. And you know what? I plan on doing just t! hat. As you can see, these orphan kids are my heroes. They reminded me what I loved best. One day I hope to be a hero and a motivation for someone as well.

Shantaya James, Social Service Worker

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My hero: Youth group supervisior, Jasmin

When growing up I was always told I should be a lawyer at first because I like to help people with there problems. But then one day in high school I was told to volunteer to get my 40 hours in order to graduate. I then was introduced to Lamp Community Health Centre. Where I began to volunteer with a group called SEYA (South Etobicoke Youth Assembly).

 

In this group we had discussions of social issues and advocated for youth. Our goal is to help youth without money be able to do activities they enjoy like recreation, singing, photography and more. I then realized that I wanted to be able to help youth that didn't have much or were in trouble. The person that inspired me to want to do social service worker or some where in that field would be Jasmin Dooh and she was the supervisor of this youth lead youth run organization.

She was the lady who gave us a chance and made adults and older people listen to youth and understand from an actual youth perspective and not just always assume what youth want. This made me realize the social service worker was the field of work i wanted to get into. I have been volunteering with this group for 5 years now and I've learned so much just through this group and its helping me through my program now. Jasmin Dooh is my inspiration, hero and made me the person I want to be today.

Desiree Da Silva, Criminal Justice Degree

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My hero: Desiree Da Silva

My hero is none other than my grandmother. When I was younger, my grandmother was the person who was taking care of me while my parents went to work because day care was more of a luxury to my parents. As I got older, I would only spend my summer with my grandmother at her house because summer camp was also more of a luxury. Although not being able to afford daycare or summer camp may often be seen as a negative, I am quite happy that it turned out that way because my grandmother was the one who I got to spend the most time with and to be more specific, she was the one who got me interested in studying law.

 

While I was at my grandmother's house during the summer, she would always watch CSI before going to bed. Watching CSI may not be the most ideal show to watch before bed but it was one of the few shows that she enjoyed and although she cannot speak English too well, she could still understand what was happening on the show. Of course, I accompanied my grandmother and watched CSI with her. This is the major reason why I chose to apply to Humber's Criminal Justice program. Not only is my grandmother the reason why I decided to study law, she is also a hero in all other aspects of my life. She survived the Great Depression and World War II. She made it through major health epidemics including Meningitis, Scarlet Fever, Tuberculosis, SARS and the H1N1 virus. Despite these scary events in history, she continues to have so much faith in her religion somehow and she is the happiest person I have ever met. She has seen the most change in the world than most of us because she saw how technology has advanced. She has made it through more than 25 years of being a widow and taking care of her three sons and only daughter. Plus she has taken care of all her grandchildren- in which I cannot even count on one hand how many she has. The list just continues on all the experiences my grandmother has had- good and bad.

Rather than going on and on about my hero, I will simply leave you with two pictures of her instead. My hero is my grandmother- the only grandparent that I had a chance to know in my life. I can honestly say that she is the toughest person I have ever known in my life so far. I wish I could express my love for her and how thankful I am to have her in my life but there are no words. I can only hope that I did not bore you too much and I tried my best not to be too sappy. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Mona Strazzella, Community and Justice Services

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My hero: Father

Shortly after I was born, my mother had developed cancerous tumors throughout her body. As the youngest of 5 kids, I didn't understand much; I just knew that my mom wasn't well and my father was constantly bringing her to the doctors. We were constantly moving from city to city in hopes of finding better treatment and a better atmosphere that she would feel comfortable in. Things never got easier, especially on my father. After owning a successful construction company, he was involved in a terrible car accident that permanently hurt his back and prevented him from continuing his work.

A little while after, my father had to file for bankruptcy. The stress that incurred on him to try and take care of his sick wife, and provide for their 5 children was unbearable and eventually he got sick as well. At this point my mother's health was deteriorating and would constantly fight with my dad. It got to the point where she would scream at him and would occasionally call the police. My siblings and I would always hide to get away from the violence. He knew that their love was strong and unconditional and that it was just her illness causing her to act this way. To see my father go through this was extremely painful. As his little girl, I loved him more than anything in the world and felt helpless when I would see this strong yet compassionate and caring man cry. When I was 12 years old, my mother passed away from cancer. This was tremendously hard on my father because not only was he left to raise 5 kids on his own, but he lost the love if his life.

The stress was just immeasurable. My father tried his hardest to make ends meet by doing small side jobs but as the young, rebellious teens we were, hardly showed much appreciation and gave him a hard time. My father's health was deteriorating as well but we never knew the severity of it; all we knew was that he had a growing tumor. Eventually he became so weak that he had to live at my Nonna's house so she could take care of him. One day after school, I was! picked up by my cousin and taken right to the hospital. There was my father, barely living in a comatose. I felt like my heart was breaking because I never had the chance to say a proper goodbye while he was still conscious. I eventually had a moment alone where I got to thank him for everything he did for us and for the unconditional love he showed that I forever carry with me in my heart. I was 16 when the cancer finally took over his life but instead of being bitter; I became closer with my siblings and knew that my mom and dad were together again; happy and healthy. My father is my hero because he struggled so much for us but never showed us his true pain. He taught me to be strong and always try my best in everything I do. He taught me to love those around me, even though they may not love me back.

To this present day, I feel like I'm always getting knocked down but I just keep pushing through because I know they are watching over me and I only want to make them proud. I aspire to be a probation officer because I have always been interested in the Criminal Justice System. I hope to have a long fulfilling career because I would like to be able to support my family to make up for the struggles we had to endure growing up. Even though we are all grown up, they are all I have left. My father's beautiful soul still shines and he will always have a special place in my heart. I will remember him for who he was, what he did, and how I became who I am today.

Beyazit Durmus Police Foundations

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My hero: Malcolm X

I am inspired by a man who gave up all he had for others. A man that was absolutely sincere in helping others that were oppressed. This man was out there, doing good for people. He went the extra mile, he did what others did not have the courage to do. The time and effort this man spent doing everything in his power to help others is truly an inspiration. He is my hero because he sacrificed everything he had, and as a result, he made the greatest sacrifice of all, he died for others, as he was willing to do. This man could have stopped his mission to help those oppressed people after he received death threats, but that did not stop him from doing what is right. This man is Malcolm X.

My hero showed me that one must always do what is right, no matter what they are faced with. Life is filled with pain and difficulties, but what makes us stronger is being able to overcome these obstacles and grow as Malcolm did. Malcolm did not waver in his fight for the rights of African-Americans. He spoke the harsh truth of the reality that black people in America during the middle of the 20th century were facing. Malcolm X further proved that the good die young, because the good do what other selfish people are not willing to do, such as putting themselves in harms way. The good strive for others and do what is right, ignoring the criticism they receive. At one time, Malcolm X's home was bombed. This did not stop Malcolm X from continuing to pursue his mission. This shows how dedicated and sincere he truly was, because Malcolm had no personal gain in what he did.

My favourite quote of Malcolm X is, "I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I'm a human being, first and foremost, and as such I'm for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole." The above quote is an epitome of what a police officer's motto and attitude should be. Police must always seek the truth and act upon it. The police must also serve justice impartially to help establish a fair society. This is why we have the esteemed Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that others can look to as a model. Most importantly, doing what benefits humanity as whole was Malcolm X's mission; and Malcolm has taught me how to benefit humanity, and what one must do to benefit humanity. One must be fearless and never waver in doing what is right. I would love to help people in any way that I am humanly possible; I would love to treat others the way that I want to be treated.

Malcolm X had a great vision; however, this vision was cut short when Malcolm was assassinated on February 21st, 1965. The story of Malcolm X is inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time. Malcolm X had a fire that kept him going until he was assassinated, the fuel of this fire was love. When not it the public eye, Malcolm X was a shy, polite, happy, and sensitive person. Malcolm X has a book entitled "The Autobiography of Malcolm X." This book has sold over 3 million copies and has been "Chosen by Time Magazine as one of the 10 most important nonfiction books of the century." When one reads it, they learn who Malcolm X was, what he did, and what he truly stood for. Malcolm X's life shows how a man can rise from impoverishment and do what others are not capable of. Malcolm X was a man who lived to serve not only African-American people, but all people; humanity as a whole. Malcolm X's sincerity and success was acknowledged on January 20th, 1999 when the U.S. Postal Service issued a special commemorative stamp that had a picture of Malcolm X on it that paid tribute to him. This commemorative stamp is proof of Malcolm X's integrity, and the authenticity of his heart, guaranteeing that his message of uniting humanity will endure. Malcolm X is my hero.