Week 16

Downsview Secondary School
Student of the Week
Week of January 21, 2019

Esra Y.


Downsview, for the week of January 21st, your Student of the Week is Esra Y.
Esra is in the eleventh grade at Downsview.

Esra’s nomination came up following our Holiday Talent Show. If you were there, you were, no doubt transfixed, even elevated by her spoken word performances. Hear this, from Ms de Jersey: “Esra, you were fierce. You spoke your truth, and you did so with heart, wit and depth. You spun the cool, interesting stuff of your mind into verse. Spoken word may work as an outlet for your thoughts and a demonstrate your resilience, but it’s also a mirror that we can all look to for inspiration. What a gift.”

Silvana has this to say: “Esra: a blossoming leader. Last year Open Door and QSA would NOT have existed if Esra wasn’t there. The back bone of the club, she was able to take initiatives the QSA brought forward by the group and make them a reality. QSA is at times low in numbers in terms of attendance but when we needed more student voice or more students to help with the action plan, she took initiative and made it happen. She was able to gather students to come and help make ideas into a reality. Allyship is a critical component to making students feel accepted regardless of their sexual orientation or gender and Esra is an examplar of how allyship creates the environment we want to feel and see at Downsview. Esra, thank you for always being the driving force that helps make Downsview a place where all students can feel welcomed and accepted.”

Ms Randhawa says: “Esra is an amazing student who I had the pleasure to teach last semester. Her positivity and smile can lit up a room.”

And Mr Wallace adds this:  "’And Still I Rise,’ wrote Maya Angelou. Such is the theme for this extraordinary young woman. The decision to make the best of what you have been given; the decision to do the best today and not focus on tomorrow; the decision to live through one's strength while acknowledging one's vulnerability are signs of a deep spirit, one that is determined to communicate that life, even in moments of difficulty, is powerful and wonderful. Esra has overcome so much, and yet at the end of the year Talent Show, she performed full of the spirit of optimism and resilience. If all you saw were the performances, you would not have understood the journey taken to arrive on that stage. But isn't that a truth we can say about all of us? In celebrating Esra, we celebrate our basic capacity to face adversity and rise.”

Esra, your win represents the finale of our roster of Students of the Week for the first semester. The qualities that drove your win are qualities that we should all emulate as we head into a new semester: intelligence, resilience, creativity, leadership, hope and reflection. Thank you, Esra, and congratulations on your win as Student of the Week.