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Durham District School Board
Ignite Learning
Mary Street Community Leaders Inspire Companies Who Care

Students at Mary Street Community School share leadership progress with local businesses.

By Sarah Racioppa

MSCS students creating an innovative workspace in their library.

Students at Mary Street Community School (MSCS) are inspiring local community members with their passion for leadership and success.

Earlier this year, Grade 7 and 8 students participated in a camp to help them to become impactful leaders. Supported by a grant from Companies Who Care, the two-day camp had students re-shape the school library into an innovative space for learning.

"By trying to build a mindset of leadership and innovation, we present possibilities that can transcend our community," says MSCS Principal Justin Abdelkerim. "Citizenship, creativity, collaboration and strong character can be fostered in these intentional spaces, and frankly that is what we're going for."

Inspirational new leaders

Tyrell and Vanessa are MSCS leaders who
are making their community members proud.

After all their hard work in the library, staff and students made their way down to the Companies Who Care partners appreciation and networking event hosted in the Core 21 office space. They shared stories and examples with the group, illustrating how the leadership camp has positively impacted the school community. Local businesses and city officials were thoroughly impressed by the ways in which the students were leading and inspiring their peers.

"Our students deserve nothing but the best opportunities to reach their personal goals and to achieve their dreams," says Ms. Deklerk, teacher at MSCS.

This past April, staff and students went back to Core 21 to update the local businesses on how the positive impact of student leadership continues to grow.

Tyrell, a Grade 8 student leader, notices the positive change in other students, "The students are more responsible as a result."

The accompanying teachers were moved to tears listening to their students talk about how the camp has changed their outlook on life.

"Leadership camp made me want to try and make a difference," explains Vanessa, a Grade 8 student. "The workshops gave me the confidence to lead. It made me want to try." 


Durham District School Board
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© Durham District School Board, 2013