TORONTO, Aug. 6, 2013 – York University is gearing up for a special graduation ceremony on Aug. 6 — to celebrate Grade 9 students from the Jane and Finch community who are completing a six-week summer program, Success Beyond Limits (SBL), sponsored by York’s Faculty of Education.
“My future goal is to finish high school with high marks and to go to university to become an architect, because I want to design beautiful houses for people and get a good salary,” says Tanjim Hossain, who is earning her first high school credit before she even starts Grade 9.
Hossain and 104 other students graduating from the high school preparatory program earn a credit in General Learning Strategies, focused on literacy, numeracy, and life skills. The summer program conducted in a small class size of one teacher, three mentors and 15 students, in technology enhanced class rooms of Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, is a joint initiative of the University and the Jays Care Foundation, in partnership with the Toronto District School Board.
“I remember going home and asking my mom to sign the application form as soon as possible to make sure I got in the SBL program when I was in Grade 8. I thought there was no better way to spend my summer than being with some of my friends and earning a high school credit,” remembers Cindy Jaikisoon, who was introduced to the program in 2009 and was Hossain’s mentor this year.
Having received a positive experience from the initiative both as a mentee and mentor, Jaikisoon has chosen teaching as her career goal. Jaikisoon has been accepted into York University’s concurrent program in the Faculty of Education.
Another example of the program’s success is Mohamed Ahmed, who has been associated with the program for several years, since starting out as a student. He has served as a volunteer and a peer mentor before taking on a staff position. In the meanwhile, he also completed a degree in sociology, streamed in social justice, followed by a Bachelor of Education degree and is currently working toward his graduate degree in education, all from York U.
“A program like this is able to champion a culture of excellence through motivating youth and my work at SBL has been the inspiration to what I write about in my course assignments. For example, I would encounter certain pedagogy in the literature I read; I am then able to analyze this new idea through the lens of the work I do with SBL youth. I am able to bring a new perspective to my graduate classroom discussions around topics related to education. It is very hands on, taking theory and putting it into practice,” says Ahmed, who will be on hand as a number of his students graduate on Aug. 6.
The ceremony at York’s Price Family Cinema will also celebrate 20 volunteers who are graduating with their required 40 volunteer hours; 10 senior students who are graduating with their dual coop credits, and 15 others including Jaikisoon, who are completing a successful summer of mentorship.
WHAT: 2013 Success Beyond Limits summer program graduation ceremony
WHO: 105 graduates, 20 volunteers, 10 senior students completing dual coop credits and 15 mentors. Special guests include Irwin Elman, Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, and Noel Jones, CEO, Toronto Community Housing.
WHERE: Price Family Cinema, York University, Keele Campus, (building number 92 on the map)
WHEN: Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013, 7:00-9:00pm
York University is helping to shape the global thinkers and thinking that will define tomorrow. York’s unwavering commitment to excellence reflects a rich diversity of perspectives and a strong sense of social responsibility that sets us apart. A York U degree empowers graduates to thrive in the world and achieve their life goals through a rigorous academic foundation balanced by real-world experiential education. As a globally recognized research centre, York is fully engaged in the critical discussions that lead to innovative solutions to the most pressing local and global social challenges. York’s 11 faculties and 28 research centres are thinking bigger, broader and more globally, partnering with 288 leading universities worldwide. York's community is strong − 55,000 students, 7,000 faculty and staff, and more than 250,000 alumni.
Gloria Suhasini, York University Media Relations, 416 736 2100 ext. 22094, email@example.com