This group of centrally staffed Focus on Youth Leaders was assembled to give you the highlights of all Focus on Youth programs, from Scarborough to Etobicoke. They also promote Focus on Youth to future leaders looking for employment and provide the chance to reach out to fellow youth in Toronto neighbourhoods.
Michael Consul (Manager): Mike is a jack of all trades, and a real tech nerd. He has served as a Student Leadership Coordinator for the TCDSB, in addition to being a certified 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens Facilitator. A Mcgill University Graduate, Mike has also been the recipient of the Teachers that Make a Difference Award, the Provincial Exemplary Practice Award, and the TCDSB Best Practice award. He was recently awarded Teacher of the Year for 2016. On top of everything else, he’s also coached baseball, softball, volleyball, and badminton at the high school level. One of Mike’s favourite quotes: The only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them.
Julienne Candelaria (Supervisor): Julienne Candelaria is a recent graduate of Francis Libermann CHS. She’s a very active member in her school and community. Aside from running circles on the track, getting buckets on the court or getting scoobers using the flick of the wrist, she plays an active leadership role in various clubs and initiatives. From Student Council Secretary to CSLIT’s Director of Administrative Affairs, she continues to take note of what she needs to improve on. Julienne’s passion for helping others drives her to volunteer around the community from serving food at the Good Shepherd Ministries to building homes overseas in the Philippines. If she’s not at school or the CEC, she’s training to improve her physical fitness at the gym, or training to improve her mental wellness at home watching Netflix while drinking bubble tea. She carries these experiences with her onto her next journey as she pursues Education in post secondary in hopes to inspire students to be the best version of themselves. Her favourite quote is: “Live simply so that others may simply live.”
Commonly known as the Media Team, this group consists of diverse individuals specializing in various aspects of technology and media. They are also trained student leaders geared with exemplary skills and qualities.
Michael Le-Heeralal (or Michael Le for short) is a graduate of Chaminade College High School served as the 2016-2017 Director of Equity. Getting involved with student leadership at a very young age, he participated in many leadership events and activities in the Toronto Catholic District School Board. These events include multiple school and school board representations at Camp Olympia, Hosting the Safe Schools Symposium, debriefing at the Faith Meets Pedagogy Youth Forum, performing with the Faith Youth Group, racing with Trek for Teens and many more. Michael also enjoys spending his free time volunteering as a tutor for students struggling with their academics, as well as singing, photography and using different mediums to express art. After his high school career comes to an end, Michael wishes to pursue a career in the teaching field to continue to support the environment he grew up in. More than anything, he wants to guide and support tomorrow’s leaders and ensure there is a brighter future filled with the young taking a stand and creating a better, safer place to learn.
Alexa Patino is a recent graduate of Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts where she studied vocal music as an arts major for six years. She has a strong passion for film and photography, in which she sometimes goes on tangents about saturation, angles, leading lines, and colour correction which may hi-jack a conversation. If she’s not on the computer trying to make a mixtape, she’s probably on a bus in traffic, texting you “I’ll be there in five minutes”. She spends the rest of the time she thinks she has trying to catch up on last season’s anime or attempting to dye her hair a colour she saw in the sky. Alexa spent her final year of high school as CSLIT’s Public Relations Coordinator and her grade eleven year as student council President. She also had the privilege to volunteer on the TCDSB Philippines service trip that same year. Alexa will be attending Ryerson University as a Media Production student. Her favourite editing programs are MS Paint and the built-in Android video editing software. Her favorite lens are the 1200-1700mm for their modest nature.
Mark De La Cruz is a recent graduate from Francis Libermann CHS. He dedicated a majority of his time to academics and extracurriculars. His love for leadership has lead him to his Student Council where he served as Senior Spirit Representative in his Grade 11 year. In Grade 12, he wanted to further develop his leadership skills, thus, he served as Vice President of the student body. He also attended the Philippines Service Trip where he helped build homes for families in the same year. In school, you can find him in the cafetorium setting up the tech equipment for both teachers and students or taking a nap behind the stage during his spares. He also has a passion for all arts, whether it is making new spirit wear designs for his school, editing videos, making posters, or singing his heart out while singing to Beyoncé in the shower. When he was just a young chap started learning how to use Photoshop with a pirated version from Tumblr and a few YouTube videos. He will be attending Glendon College / York University majoring in French Studies to become a secondary school French Teacher. As a future educator, he hopes to inspire and motivate the youth of the next generation. When you get to know him, you may think he is a bit quirky and bubbly (and goes to Chatime too much), but, it is only because he believes: “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” – Maya Angelou
Chantal Saab is a recent graduate of Father John Redmond where she studied theatre for four years in the Regional Arts Program, spending the majority of her high school career both on and off stage! Theatre influenced her to find her passion for writing and content creation. This has led her to be awarded the OECTA Young Author’s Award and to be published in the Toronto Public Library’s Young Voices Magazine for her article about diversity in the entertainment industry. As an individual with the privilege to an education, Chantal understands her responsibility to do her part in improving the world around her. Therefore, she strives to make a difference in the best way she knows how: through storytelling. She strongly believes art is a powerful force in contributing to empowerment and societal awareness and has committed her time to this. Recently, she volunteered as a production assistant on a television series titled Teens 101 to be released on Rogers tv, dedicated to spreading awareness about significant social issues that affect adolescents today, such as mental illness and cyberbullying. The mere idea of touching one person’s life through storytelling is what motivates Chantal to devote the next four years to studying the skills that will allow her to do this. In September she will start the school year at Ryerson University for Media Production where she will progressively fulfill her potential of being a “woke” artist who contributes to the empowerment of her community. If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jad Abdalnor is a student at Monsignor Percy Johnson C.S.S. going into grade 12. Jad is planning to be a computer programmer and is very good with techy things like at school he is part of the AV club which is the tech crew that sets up speakers and microphones…etc for all school events and the crew that is called out of class to turn on a projector. He spends most of his time at school in class of course and mostly leadership team. At home Jad spends his time sitting in front of a screen on social media and video editing which it is one of his hobbies, he has also been playing the guitar since he was 6 years old. Jad is looking forward to finish high school and make his last year the best one. His favorite quote is “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant”
Jonathan Wilson is a soon-to-be graduate of Saint Mother Teresa Catholic Academy, as he is going into grade 12 this upcoming September. After a long time contemplating and jumping career focuses from wildlife biology, to space engineering, he has recently acquired a solid idea of what he would like to do for the rest of his life and it lies in the arts. He would like to take his love for film and turn it into a career. He believes that this program will help him greatly by providing an opportunity for him to learn lots of new and valuable info, gain experience, meet people, and ultimately be the first step to him reaching his goals. He has a deep passion for music; some of his favourite artists include ASAP Rocky, Kanye, J. Cole, G Herbo, and Mr.Ed Sheeran. Having playing play the trombone from the age of 2 (if you don’t believe me take a look at the pic above) all the way to in his high school’s band, Jonathan has reaped the many benefits of playing a musical instrument. Whether is lies in his family or friends, reading, playing video games, or playing sports, he likes to live by the ASAP motto, “always strive and prosper”. His favourite quote is that of Confucius who said “He who says he can and he who says he can’t, are both usually correct”. At the end of the day, Jonathan really likes the idea of making a difference and making the world a better place no matter how small the task.
Angelito is a recent graduate of Jean Vanier CSS. Running only on two hours of sleep for the past four years of high school, he dedicated his time to playing sports, studying, and working at McDonald’s where he learned some of the most valuable lessons in life. He learned that when ordering from fast food restaurants, you should always get everything “well done”. Winning countless awards in high school, he has shown the world that it only takes an ordinary person to do extraordinary things. He may not have the 99 average that everyone thinks he has, nor does he excel at every sport, however, he has shown others that it takes passion, dedication, and hard-work in order to succeed. As one of his favourite teachers once said, “You’ll do anything you put your mind to doing.” To you, I say the same. Please do not be afraid to visit him at the University of Waterloo this coming September, where he will, once again, not sleep.