EVENT: Footsteps to Success Camp Day

Camp day was an exciting and fantastic day for both campers, Focus on Youth Staff, and Media Team members.

This showcases both Footsteps camps from Father Henry Carr and Blessed Mother Theresa, along side with NBA player Anthony Bennett

This showcases both Footsteps camps from Father Henry Carr and Blessed Mother Theresa, along side with NBA player Anthony Bennett



Doris, instructing the media team members on the different activities

The day started at Father Henry Carr, with the Media Team and the Focus on Youth Supervisors help preparing the games and activity for the day. The day would be planned as each camp will divide equally to 8 teams and they will compete with the rival opposing camp, in each game. The kids will have to play such amazing games as, wheel barrow, rugby, spin shot, obstacle course, and many more.

When the day started and the children came, the games were underway. The campers worked hard and so did the staff — not only volunteering just to play games but also to serve and clean up through out the day. Around noon the kids and staff had lunch, the hot dogs and burgers were amazingly prepared by our Focus on Youth supervisors.

When the day was over and the points were tallied up, the campers and the staff got to meet Toronto’s own NBA Player Anthony Bennett. The number one draft pick was holding his skills camp here in the same place as us, so with arrangements, the campers and staff were able to see Anthony Bennett and take a picture with him. Its was a great day for everyone, its not an average day in the summer in which you get free food, play games and get to meet NBA players. Footsteps To Success Camp Day is an one of a kind camp, with one of kind kids and one of a kind Focus on Youth Staff and Supervisors.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

PROFILE: Camp Olympia Leadership Training Weekend


Out of 863 students who applied for Focus On Youth, 261 remarkable students were hired to participate in the Focus On Youth (FOY) Program. Participating in FOY required the students to attend a leadership training weekend in order to prepare them for their respective jobs (as a camp counsellor, custodian, in administration or in media). On June 6th, successful Focus on Youth applicants from different parts of Toronto arrived at Camp Olympia, a leadership/sports camp. They were trained by the FOY coordinators and teachers until June 8th .


FOY employees getting ready for lunch.


FOY employees cheering

Since there was an overwhelming number of participants, they were divided by their school or centres, with 12 centers in total. Throughout the weekend, the students participated in a rotation of five different workshops. Each workshop’s goal was to sharpen their leadership skills and to build character as individuals. The workshops were:

Anger Management: To sharpen participants’ patience and understanding.


FOY employees doing some exercises (Anger Management)


FOY employees doing some exercises (Anger Management)

Games: They are given a booklet filled with different games. They must choose one and clearly explain/demonstrate it to their fellow participants. They also have to run the game.

Basketball game

FOY employees playing a basketball game

Equity: To educate the participants about the different kinds of oppression people face.


FOY employees having an outdoor activity (Equity)


Communication: This teaches the participants to speak less and listen more—a critical skill when dealing with campers.



FOY employees attentively listens (Communication)

Coaching: Similar to the Games workshop, in which they have to pick a sport and they have to explain it clearly.


FOY employees explaining the game of volleyball (Coaching)

Arts and Crafts: To give employees ideas of different activities they can offer to campers

Arts and Crafts

FOY employees playing around with paint (Arts and Crafts)

Arts and Crafts

FOY employees having fun with all the art supplies (Arts and Crafts)


There was also the Positive Discipline workshop, which helped the employees learn how to resolve difficult situations and to deal with misbehaviour. Mike Consul and Greg Rogers also led a 7 Habits Workshop.


Greg Rogers during the 7 habits workshop


A talent show was held to conclude the training weekend. A huge number of students participated in the show! The night was filled with enthusiasm and cheering.


A team of FOY employees performing their cheer


Some of the FOY employees waiting for the show to start


Another Cheer performance by a group of FOY employees

Furthermore, Mike Consul asked the Media Team to lead the FOY participants throughout the weekend. The Media Team is a small group of FOY participants that document and record the highlights of the training weekend.


FOY Media Team 2014

The Media Team was also responsible for the directing the two music videos and a slideshow shown in the end. They managed to finish filming and editing in just two days.




Everyone returned to Toronto with a burning passion to share their leadership skills!


FOY coordinator, Andre Fullerton!

EVENT: Footsteps to Success — Bowling

footsteps to success

bowling balls

One of the FOY staff getting ready for her turn

On July 30th, 2014, Footsteps to Success: Blessed Mother Teresa went to Kennedy Bowl for their annual bowling trip.

Getting ready to bowl

Campers getting ready to bowl!

That talent!

A talented camper drew Mark Bryce!


One of the FOY staff teaching a camper the proper position to bowl

Campers enjoyed their time bowling and had the opportunity to bond with Focus On Youth staff in a more relaxed environment. Exclamations of wanting to come back could be heard throughout the day!

Andre and Janelle

FOY coordinators, Andre Fullerton and Janelle Curtis came bowling with the camp.

Let it be a spare

A camper hoping for spare!



Camper getting ready to bowl!

PROFILE: Toronto Fire Services


DSCF4340 (1)

Hung Le capturing the Honda Indy event

Toronto Fire Services provides the city of Toronto with reliable and effective emergency response, as well as fire prevention and emergency services and resources. Their duty is to protect and prevent the danger of fire hazards of those who live in, work in and visit Toronto.

DSCF4332 (1)

Firefighter Dave dragging 175 lb Rescue Randy to the finish line

Some of the services they provide are fire Prevention, Detection and Escape.  Toronto Fire Services hold special events such as Fire Prevention Week, and make appearances at local events such as the Honda Indy Races.

DSCF4324 (1)

FOY staff, Hung Le, posing for the camera with Officer Ron Barrow and co-op student, Hani Dawood

Focus on Youth’s partnership with the Toronto Fire Services allow staff to have experience in this workforce. Their assigned job is to document and record daily training and special events. The Focus on  Youth staff are part of the Toronto Fire Services’ media team. They take photos and videos of the fire-fighters in action, as well as document footage in special events.



Focus on Youth staff: Hung Le



Organization: Toronto Fire Services

Website: http://www.toronto.ca/fire/

Location: http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=48ff3840456e1410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

Contact Info: Toronto Fire Services Headquarters
4330 Dufferin Street
Toronto, ON M3H 5R9


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


PROFILE: Davenport Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre



Leaders lining up to play Bring Me the Bacon

Youth Employment Experience (YEP) is a program for 13-16 year-old participants. Their main focus is to their increase participants’ involvement and leadership within the community, increase their pre-employment knowledge and skills, their confidence and ability to access relevant community resources, and to provide opportunities meet other young people.


Davenport-Perth community leaders listening attentively to instructions

The participants undergo training within the first two weeks, followed by placements 3 days a week , while the other two days they continue to attend training workshops. YEP also provides weekly fun social and recreational outings and special events for participants over the summer, such as a team-building experience at High Park.


All leaders participating in Monster instructed by Benedict Mercado.

Youth Employment Experience decided to partner with Focus on Youth in order to increase opportunities for young people to access employment experience, to have more staffing support to run our summer programs and to increase access to community space.


Focus on Youth staff: Benedict Mercado


Organization: Davenport Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre

Location: 1900 Davenport Road
Toronto, ON  M6N 1B7

Ages: 13-16

Dates/Times: 6 week program
11 a.m – 3 p.m

Website: www.dpnchc.ca

Contact Info:
Swelen Andari
Youth Program Worker, Children and Youth Services
E sandari@dpnchc.ca
T 416 656 8025 x244
F 416 656 1264


Leaders playing Cheat. “I put down two Jacks,” said Ines. “Cheat!!” yelled Mark.



Picture of a Bison captured at High Park’s zoo



Participants joining in for a good ol’ fashion game of cards

Special Event: Celebration of Success 2013

Celebration of Success 2013


The University of Toronto’s Hart House


After a long six weeks, Focus on Youth’s 2013 summer program came to an end. To mark the occasion, staff and counselors were invited to a special Celebration of Success at the University of Toronto’s Hart House.




Christina Martin and Stefan Brum, the evening’s hosts

Stefan Brum and Christina Martin served as the evening’s MCs, keeping things light. The counselors listened to speeches from their peers, and staff like Angela Gauthier, Director of Education. The audience was also treated to a first look at the special promotional videos created by the Media Team. After a series of student performances, the guests were treated to a delicious buffet lunch, courtesy of Hart House.




The performances get the guests up and moving


One of the Media Team’s videos


The Media Team leads the crowd in the Wavin’ Flag dance


After lunch, the main speakers of the evening took the stage. First, teacher Peter Ranson spoke about how he got involved in Focus on Youth, and what it meant to him. Then, Shawn Burgess of the St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club talked about working with the Focus on Youth Student Counselors, and how it was an excellent experience. Finally, Orlando Bowen, Executive Director of the One Voice One Team Youth Leadership Organization, took the stage to tell a spellbound audience about his experiences with overcoming adversity, and becoming a better person because of it.


Peter Ranson


Shawn Burgess


Orlando Bowen

Afterwards, guests were treated to a special slide and video show by the Media Team, documenting their long journey throughout the program, before Program Coordinator Andre Fullerton came up to thank the staff and counselor, and give special mention to fellow coordinators and all-around problem solvers Janelle Curtis and Ashisha Persaud.


Janelle Curtis and Ashisia Persaud get special recognition from Andre Fullerton

With the ceremonies concluded, guests were invited out onto the patio to dance, grab some cake, take some fancy (or silly) photos at the Media Team’s photo booth, and get some info on their upcoming post-secondary education from booths set up by local universities.


Keenon Peterson and Jaeson Villanueva run the photo booth


The media team hard at work


Mingling on the patio


The photo booth



Students consider their future


A guide to the celebration can be found here:

Celebration Program (2)

Special Event: Caribana Launch

IMG_0971 IMG_0981 IMG_0976 IMG_1003 IMG_0990 IMG_0967 IMG_0985 DSCN0318

This year marked the 46th annual Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival in Toronto, formerly know as Caribana. The kick-off event was hosted by the Toronto Police Services on Thursday, July 25th. The Service has had a float in the parade since 1991, and this year the theme was “Diversity in Motion.” Hundreds of campers from the Footsteps to Success program attended this event. It began with a live steel pan performance of songs like Bruno Mars’s “Just the Way You Are,” and Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” to which everyone in the room sang along to. There was also a  performance by a Juno award winning artist, and notable speakers such as:  Chief William Blair took the stage. After the speakers, women in gorgeous colourful, costumes adorned with feathers and face paint walked down the main stairs in the lobby and got everyone up on their feet – including Chief Blair and the other policemen! The campers then headed outside to continue the festivities. The rest of the day was filled with lots of music, singing, dancing, and authentic Caribbean food! Campers climbed onto the float as the ribbon was cut, signifying the official opening of Caribana.  In addition, the radio station 98.7 FM set up a tent with a DJ playing music that had everyone dancing. Overall the event was a huge success, enjoyed by many.