Week 11

Downsview Secondary School
Student of the Week
Week of December 3, 2018

Cara L., Dadreiah R., Anita A. and Lola D.

Cara_Dadreiah_Anita Lola

Downsview, for the week of December 3rd, it is exciting to honour four worthy young women: Anita A., Lola D., Cara L., and Dadreiah R.
All are in the twelfth grade, and will graduate soon.

Hear this, from Mr Wallace: “The Black Brilliance conference was excellent again this year. In fact it was bigger and more complex than ever. The organization of such an important student-led event depends on people stepping up. Sometimes, there is one strong leader who organizes everybody; sometimes there is a small group of people who organize everybody; and sometimes there is a large group who take personal and collective responsibility for making the day a success. This year's conference is this third type: many students took personal responsibility for their part and they delivered. While there are many names that come to mind, four people set a strong example for themselves and others: Anita, Cara, Dadreiah, and Lola. Their workshop, Fufu or Jerk Chicken, challenged the false separation between students of African and Caribbean descent. They presented a can-do confidence that kept the level of expectation high for all the presenters, and they delivered. These girls have also been managing their academics while also organizing Prom. There is a lot on their plate, but they exude a kind of competent calm that will not be ruffled for long. It is a pleasure to watch them work!”

Ms Johnson adds this: “These ladies are a force to be reckoned with. They are wonderful leaders. They are reliable and always willing to give a helping hand. They led their workshops well and still made time to play an active role in the Prom Committee! They are simply awesome! These young ladies exemplify resilience and strength in every way! Continue to be the super women that you are! You are so appreciated!”

Ms Maloney says: “I have the joy of teaching all of these students and it has been an absolute pleasure to have them in my class. Engaged, smart and bold.” From Ms Volkening: “Anita, Cara and Lola have demonstrated the power of student voice and strong leadership within their Africentric classes and through their involvement with co-curricular activities such as, Prom Committee and Black Brilliance.” Finally, from Ms Randhawa: “Dadreiah is an extremely hardworking and dedicated student. Her positive attitude and words of encouragement to others set her apart from her peers. Although, I am not teaching her this semester, I am looking forward to organizing Prom with her.”

On reflection, a couple of things stand out about this dynamic foursome. One is their strength as friends. We generally think of friends as groups that support each other. These young women have taken that support and turned it outward, so that we can all benefit from their unity and collegiality. Finally, the timing of this award feels right. That these young women have not been celebrated previously is certainly an oversight. They have always been fine members of this school. This year, however, something significant has “clicked”, and they have put the force of their personalities and intelligence into high gear. We at DSS are all the better for this. Dadreiah, Cara, Lola and Anita, thank you for your leadership and congratulations on your wins as Students of the Week.