Tags: Vol. 1, Issue 3, March 2021
The combination of my lived experiences and educational background has served as a catalyst to becoming a social justice advocate and conduit for those that are deeply marginalized.
My time in the CJS program provided me the opportunity to meet other like-minded students and faculty that are knowledgeable, resourceful, and committed to student success. During my second year, I completed a field placement at Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), where I gained practical knowledge and tools to become an effective leader, navigator and connector in Toronto's non-profit sector.
Being involved and engaged while in the program gave me an opportunity to continue to learn outside of the classroom and broaden my experience. After my placement at TCHC, I was hired by Humber as a Research Assistant, and worked closely with faculty, staff and other stakeholders, on assessing the impact and service needs of what was at the time, the soon to open Toronto South Detention Centre. I also volunteered as a First Year Experience (FYE) Peer Mentor that focuses on students’ transition into college, both academically and socially.
Shortly before graduating in 2013, I secured a full-time job with TCHC and have since held different roles and responsibilities there, including working in Active Living, Revitalization, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Community Development and most recently in Youth Violence Reduction as a Community Services Coordinator.
I enjoy sharing my involvement and support for key initiatives and the importance of cross-sector collaborations wherever possible. I have had the privilege of being involved in some notable community wellbeing projects across the city, including a basketball court mural done in collaboration with StreetARToronto and local youth, that was recently highlighted in an MLSE Foundation/Toronto Raptors video, and setting up a community-run food bank and Summer Produce Market with Daily Bread, for which I was awarded the Best in Class Community Impact Award in 2019. These opportunities continue to provide avenues to learn and contribute to a more socially just city.
I have a deep gratitude and appreciation for my experience at Humber, which allowed me to develop a foundation that supported my personal and professional growth. All these years later, I continue to learn from the communities that I support and work with, and look forward to, taking on the new challenges and opportunities that come my way.