York University student celebrated as an urban hero


TORONTO, Nov. 8, 2013 – York University’s Sam Tecle has been honoured with North York Mirror’s Urban Hero Award, for his notable contribution to education and for being a role model in the Jane and Finch community.

“I am blessed, honoured and humbled by this award. The recognition serves as a validation of my work and motivation to continue on,” says Tecle who is a doctoral candidate in Sociology, in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies.

“For me, it was always an idea that where I lived and the community I was part of, that giving back was important. And for me, that was always through education,” Tecle told The Mirror, upon receiving the award.

“I am thrilled that Sam is a recipient of this respected award which honours grassroots level heroes for their efforts, sacrifices and contributions, having positive impact on our communities,” says Professor Carl James, who is Tecle’s PhD supervisor and nominator for the award. “Sam is an example of the many students doing exemplary work through involvement in neighbourhood community initiatives at York University.”

This summer, Tecle taught Grade 9 students from the Jane and Finch community attending a six-week program, Success Beyond Limits. The program is a joint initiative of York University and Jays Care Foundation, in partnership with the Toronto District School Board. Sponsored by the Faculty of Education, the program was conducted in technology enhanced classrooms of Osgoode Hall Law School.

Sudanese-born immigrant of Eritrean origin has been a youth facilitator, focusing on educational attainment, sex education, as well as personal and career development with many community organizations across the Greater Toronto Area, was among the 16 recipients, in the categories of arts and culture, health and science, education, sports, environment, business and community, who received their awards at a ceremony, Nov. 5.

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.

Media Contact:
Gloria Suhasini, York University Media Relations, 416 736 2100 ext. 22094, suhasini@yorku.ca

NOTE: York U media studio is available for double-ended broadcast interviews.