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Week 10 - Student of the Week

Downsview Secondary
School Student of the Week
Week of November 28, 2016

Tinuola A.

Downsview, for the week of November 28th, your Student of the Week is Tinuola A.
Tinuola is in her graduating year at Downsview, and this is her third win.

The timing of Tinuola’s win is deliberate; she was a co-founder and a key driving force in the remarkable Black Brilliance conference that happened on November 22nd. The success of Black Brilliance was in the power of student voices; this was not a teacher-led initiative. The responsibility for organizing and executing this conference, that brought in over one hundred TDSB students for discussions about issues that affect them, was in the hands of students. Tinuola’s involvement in pulling off such a remarkable conference is a remarkable.

Praise for Tinuola comes from many corners of our school. Let’s start with her Student Council mentor, Ms Polley, “Tinuola, what a force you are! I know that this journey has not been easy. There have been bumps along the way with questions like ‘why can’t I?” and ‘says who?’. Desires to express yourself and to protect against the many injustices you saw in your school, community and the world have risen up in you, and you’ve been told at times that your reactions aren’t appropriate. Well, I don’t think you will find resistance anymore…what an incredible space of protest, activism, reflection and community you helped to create last week! Helen Keller once said, ‘ Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through the experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.’ That’s you, Tinuola: success achieved.”

Hear this, from Ms Prinn: “I remember teaching Tinuloa in grade nine and she had already set her sights high. Her goal was to join every single sports team in order to be athlete of the year, as well as stay on the honour roll. She is a wonderful speaker and tremendous person. She has amazed so many with her brilliant speeches; from the Toronto and Ontario ‘Prepared Speech’ Skills Championships to her television debut on Orange Shirt Day on many Toronto media outlets. The media relations representative from the TDSB commented on Tinuola’s eloquence, noting that she should be a lawyer. It was a real joy to hear her words from those interviews when we re-played the footage in Cross Lake First Nation at Mikisew High School. The whole school (nearly 500 students) fell silent as she spoke. She touched on so many emotions and spoke the truth. The school cheered for her and for Downsview, at the end of that segment. It was an amazing moment and still gives me goose bumps. She is a star. It has been a pleasure to watch Tinuola grow and become such a powerful, intelligent woman. Set your sights high, Tinuola, the world is yours for the taking.”

Mr Wallace continues with this: “Tinuola is a force, and it is so great that she is at Downsview. Last week, our school hosted over 100 students from ten schools in the Black Brilliance Conference. This conference was student-created and student-led; Tinuola was at the centre of it all. The day was brilliant and a lot of it had to do with Tinuola's leadership. She brings her passion, but she respects the space for others' passion; she brings all her strength, but she respects and demands the strength of others; she thinks big and inspires others to think big. Black Brilliance: is it a movement? It is if Tinuola has anything to do with it.”

Ms Alli, who knows Tinuola as a Student Leader, says: “Tinuola is....AWESOME! A good student, a good athlete, a good leader. She is passionate, confident, kind, inspiring, encouraging, bold, and a role-model. Downsview is graced with her presence and I know she will continue to do great things here and beyond!” Ms Jubinville adds: “Tinuola is fantastic! She sets goals and surpasses them. I can always count on Tinuola to take an idea and run with it, ultimately creating something amazing and beyond expectations. She also has an inner musical theatre diva lurking just beneath the surface, which I'm sure helps her lead by example and stand up for what she believes in. Congrats Tinuola! And, from Silvana: “Tinuola is a natural leader and a visionary leader. She sees this school as a catalyst for change. She is always behind any idea or event that promotes inclusivity. I thank her for supporting the positive spaces room and especially QSA. Despite how deeply she is involved in in other groups, she always let QSA know she’s there for support and comes to QSA initiatives. You advocate for others without a voice and you give them strength.”

Ms de Jersey adds this: “I first really noticed you, Tinuola, when you burst onto the stage at a Welcome Assembly a few years back. I thought, ‘Who is this kid? She’s on fire!’ You were and you are lit by passion. What others don’t realize, though, is that passion doesn’t translate automatically into action. You have worked to move your thoughts and energy into making things happen. This takes time, this takes facing and tackling obstacles, this takes grit, this takes determination. Vision is just the start. You’re the whole package, Tinuola. You make being a teacher at Downview better.”

It’s all here, Tinuola. You are loved and valued by the Downsview community. We can’t wait to see you unfold your future. For now, we offer congratulations on your win as Student of the Week.

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(416) 395-3200

7 Hawksdale Rd
North York, ON
M3K 1W3

Superintendent: Linda Curtis
Trustee: Alexandra Lulka

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