Week 15

Downsview Secondary School
Student of the Week
Week of January 13, 2020

Jaquan G. & Sharon S.


Downsview, for the week of January 13th, your Students of the Week are Jaquan G. and Sharon S.
Sharon and Jaquan are both in the twelfth grade; this is their graduating year. Both were members of the Black Brilliance Executive Team, and they are part of a larger team of recipients of this award.

Hear this, from Mr Wallace: “This year's Black Brilliance Conference Executive are exceptional as individuals and as a team. They are all people of character, committed to their learning, but also committed to their community, or rather communities. They do Downsview proud, but their reach goes far beyond these walls. They delivered, along with so many others, a wonderfully affirming, focused, hard-hitting conference. The voice of Black youth was heard with respect and celebration. Organizing an event of this magnitude can be a grind. Detail after detail have to be worked out. Relationships that produce trust and confidence must be nurtured. Other commitments must be managed on top of it all. At any moment, the temptation to walk away from the worry and stress can be strong. The sense of responsibility can be overwhelming. This group embraced the task and excelled. As workshop leaders, mentors, tone-setters and go to trouble-shooters, they responded to every challenge they faced. It continues to be an honour to work with these fine people; I feel very lucky.”

These students have earned this award in large part due to their ability to excel and produce as a team. It follows that they are individually strong. Mr Wallace continues with this: “Jaquan is gritty, self-determined, strong. He's the quiet guy in the back until he's needed. And then he steps forward, always respectfully, always insightfully, always forcefully. I have watched Jaquan grow in his time at Downsview. His participation in Robotics, cross-country, Black Brilliance and the U of T See program have demonstrated that he offers his best to others while remaining self-reliant.

Sharon knows opportunity when it is in front of her. In her few years at Downsview she has become a leader in Black Brilliance and now Student Council. She is ambitious for herself, but she is equally ambitious for those around her. Sometimes she can seem frightened by her vision of her future. She shouldn't. She is capable of dealing with everything that comes at her. Keep dreaming big, Sharon. You will grow enough to hold that dream and take it further.”

The photo of our winners showcases these two students on their own. There is no adult standing by their side. This is intentional. While many adults supported this event, this student team lead the event. At the conference and in this photo, they strongly and confidently represent themselves. The power of student voice is front and centre. Congratulations once again to you, Jaquan and to you, Sharon, our final Students of the Week for the first semester.