"Durham Strong Academy is planting seeds and we want to yield good fruit"
Excellence Without Excuses.
This is now the motto of 50 Durham District School Board (DDSB) students who celebrated completion of the Strong Academy, a three week Summer Program that is run by the DDSB and the 100 Strong Foundation.
Students, parents, family members, school officials and community members attended the
celebration held in Toronto to celebrate the boy's achievement in completing the program aimed at fostering and instilling a love for learning and education in middle school-aged boys.
This summer marks the second time the
Strong Academy summer program has run as a joint venture between the DDSB and the 100 Strong Foundation. The Strong Academy is designed to mobilize and equip young black boys with the tools necessary to achieve their maximum potential in education and build life skills for future success.
Strong Academy Students Get Ready to Share Graduation with Family
|Justice Donald McLeod, Co-Chair of the 100 Strong Foundation, speaks with graduates and their families.
"The opportunity to see the impact Strong Academy has had on the lives of these young black men has been nothing short of life altering," states Co-Chair of 100 Strong Foundation, Justice Donald McLeod. "I commend the Durham District School Board for their unfettered desire to create a community where race is respected and equity fostered."
|DDSB Director Lisa Millar,
Trustee Patrice Barnes, and Principal Eleanor McIntosh attend the Strong Academy graduation ceremony.
Lisa Millar, Director of Education with the DDSB, attended the event and showed her support for the summer program and graduating students. "The Strong Academy is setting high expectations and providing support for our students to help them reach their full potential," says Millar. "This is a venture we are proud to support and partner with for the success of our black students at the DDSB."
The young DDSB students attended the program from July 3-20 with and joined another 25 students from the remaining Greater Toronto Area at this year's graduating Strong Academy ceremony.
Throughout the summer the boys attended field trips to such locations as
Brock University, tree top trekking, and a visit to the courts with Justice McLeod among other excursions.
Kay Esin, a student with the academy, stated the program helps him to be inspirational and remember that he can do more than he is expected to do.
|100 Strong Foundation Board Members
Ainsworth Morgan, Dr. Ato Sekyi-Otu, and
Gavin Douglas congratulate a graduate
as he receives his award.
"Durham Strong Academy is planting seeds and we want to yield good fruit," says Raymond Hartley, a teacher at Carruther's Creek PS in Ajax and Strong Academy Leader in his second summer with the program. "These boys need to see the bigger picture and how they fit in and can contribute. This year was a success, but true success will be evident in our ability to nurture and follow up with these young black boys as they utilize resources and manpower to help usher them into young adulthood to be strong men."
Patrice Barnes, DDSB Trustee with the Town of Ajax, also attended the event. "It's been exciting to be part of the journey to see this program brought to reality in Durham," says Barnes. "Being involved from the inception and throughout, I've been amazed to see the positive and empowering impact on both the boys and the mentors."