Downsview Secondary School
Student of the Week
Week of May 9th, 2022
Mercy S. and Cassandra T.
Downsview, for the week of May 9th, we again celebrate two brilliant young women as Students of the Week. They are both in the eleventh grade and they are: Mercy Shofowoke and Cassandra Tracey.
This bears repeating: when we have two winners, each student has won this award in their own right. Sometimes, the involvements or qualities that moved each recipient to the award are similar, and awarding them together makes sense. This is the case this week.
Let’s hear first, from Mr Ramnaraine: “I had the pleasure of teaching Cassandra and Mercy last year. It is amazing to see how far they have come as leaders in our school community. A few weeks ago, I was able to see their leadership in action as they led a workshop in the Black Brilliance Scarborough Conference. They led with such enthusiasm and grace. Cassandra and Mercy - you've made us all so proud. Keep up the great work!”
And, hear this, from Mr Lewin: “Mercy Shofowoke and Cassandra Tracey are outstanding students who are currently in Downsview’s Africentric program. They recently participated in Black Brilliance Scarborough and did a powerful presentation on the importance of unity. In addition, both student scholars recently completed the grade 12 Africentric leadership community course where they both received high honours. They are committed to achieving excellence both within and outside of the community. In summary, Mercy and Cassandra are incredible human beings and leaders within the Downsview school community.”
From Mr Phillips: “I've had the pleasure of teaching both Mercy and Cassandra in science and chemistry. Both are hard working and dedicated students with the right amount of spice mixed in to make life in a classroom interesting! Their jovial enthusiasm for life and their dedication are a welcome part to my classroom. Even though they both like a good joke, they both are also able to buckle down and get to work when called to do so. I congratulate them on their much deserved achievement of Students of the Week.”
And finally, from Mr Wallace: “Black Brilliance is just an idea unless our students make it real. Mercy and Cassandra did just that last week by representing Downsview at the Scarborough Black Brilliance Conference, where they presented on Black Rivalry and why we should overcome. Cassandra, with roots in the Caribbean and Mercy with roots in Africa, exposed the shallowness of rivalry in contrast to the richness of appreciation and collaboration. Their message that Black Communities are stronger together than they are apart was well-received. Mercy did a version of this workshop with Jaidah deCoteau and Shyan Crawford back in the fall; Mercy also presented at the Black Brilliance Spring Conference for Middle School Students last month. Mercy's energy and forcefulness stems from a generosity of spirit and an impatience with a world that moves too slowly toward justice. There are so many great leaders in Black Brilliance and Mercy is one of them. Cassandra has been on the edges of Black Brilliance for the past few years, but made the decision to step into the ring this time. Trusting your voice, being confident is not natural for most of us; we have to work to understand how we can contribute. If she was on the track, Cassandra would be running free of any questions or doubt; through the process of putting this workshop together and delivering it, Cassandra began to understand how she can transfer her confidence from one area of her life to another. The energy at Downsview is generated through students: ideas, leadership, action. At Downsview we are blessed. Mercy and Cassandra, each in their own way, are part of that blessing.”
Ms de Jersey wraps things up with this: “ I got to know both Mercy and Cassandra in tenth grade. Their powers then were just bubbling up. Their strengths were clear, but they hadn’t come to fruition. Here they are, owning their striving to teach others, and owning their leadership. You two are amazing.”
Thank you, Mercy and Cassandra, for modelling excellence for our school and for the school community. Congratulations, Mercy on your win as Student of the Week. And congratulations Cassandra, on your win as Student of the Week.