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)

Profile: Dmitrik Sports (Hoop House)


The group of athletes!

The Dmitrik Sports Camp was founded by Michael Dmitrik five years ago. With an average of 15 participants per week, ages 10-14 years old, this camp promotes physical activity primarily by playing  basketball all day, every day. The camp is open for players of all skill levels.


Michael showing off his skills!

The camp runs from 9am to 4pm. The morning begins with a game for the entire camp to warm up, like dodge-ball or freeze tag. Participants then have strength and endurance exercises, then stretches, and a game before lunch. After lunch, they separate into groups according to skill level. and have stations to teach various basketball concepts. Throughout the camp they have events like dunk contests, drills, and scrimmages.


Doing some drills

Focus on Youth has been working with the camp for the past four years. The leaders help with setting up, leading the stretches, and they run the skill stations. The goal of the camp is twofold, as mainly it is to advance sport for children and make it accessible to youth, irrespective of their financial circumstances, but also to have children build positive friendships among their peers and staff.





What a shot!






Focus on Youth staff


Organization: Dmitrik Sports (Hoop House)

Location: Madonna Catholic Secondary School (20 Dubray Ave)

Ages: 7 – 16

Date/Time: Monday to Friday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Website: http://www.ourkids.net/camp/camp-profile.php?id=576

Contact info: m_dmitrik@yahoo.ca

Profile: Studio 15


To Studio 15 Homepage


Johnny Playing ‘Me Switch’ with Studio 15


Opening Assembly

Studio 15 is an arts-based camp, mainly run by the sibling team of Jessica and Johnny Dotson, with all decisions overseen by the organization’s executive director, Darrin Lindsay. The camp handles kids ages 10-15, and divides them into 3 age categories.

Following the quick success of Studio 15, the administration decided to run programs year-round. The organization is centred within the Kingsview village community, which is filled with diversity and multiculturalism. The camp runs for 4 days a week, 9am to 3pm. Depending on the day, campers will go to the gym, play sports, swim, dance, or practice and work on art, as well as have a weekly trip. This year, they are excited to attend Playdium for the first time in their history. The camp also travels to places like Wild Water Kingdom, and Medieval Times. At the end of the 6 week program, there is a talent show, where the community can come and watch the youth of the organization perform what they have been practicing, as well as display all their art pieces.


Alex showing off the camp rules


Studio 15 has been supported by Focus on Youth. This year, Focus on Youth has assigned 4 workers to their organization.  Focus on Youth picked their employees and representatives well this year, and Mercedes Molina, Natasha Boatang, Imade Edokpayi, and Chris De Francesco fit Studio 15 well. All 4 workers have an artistic talent, be it singing, dancing, or acting.



Focus on Youth workers Michael De Francesco, Imade, Natasha Boatang, Mercedes Molina


The Studio 15 showcase is a great night, and provides great entertainment. The show provides dancing, acting, and singing, and any other talents the children wish to showcase.


Druv showing his skills in European Handball


Amazing teamwork! Nice Pass, Druv

photo 1

Showing off our art

photo 3



photo 2


Organization: Studio 15 

Location: St Maurice, 45 Kingsview Boulevard, Weston, ON. M9R 1T7

Ages: 10-15

Dates/Times: July 3rd – August 9th

Website: http://studio15arts.com/

Contact Information: Darrin Lindsay – 4162485000

Profile: Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence Heights

Lawrence HeightsDSC_1447

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence Heights is one of three satellite communities of St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club. Located at Dante Alighieri’s Beatrice Campus at 50 Ameer Ave, there’s plenty of space for kids to play and have a great time. The site is right by a park, with a lot of outdoor space, and a large baseball diamond.


Just a few members of the large group!

There are 65 participants at this location, ranging from 6-13 years old. It’s a six week program starting at the beginning of July. They participate in excursions to places like Wild Water Kingdom, Jumpstart, and attend Rookie Ball on Thursdays with other Boys and Girls Clubs (like the Weston-Mount Dennis Boys and Girls Club).


Enjoying a nice day of baseball

This is the first year the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence Heights has had the help of Focus on Youth leaders, and these particular leaders have been amazingly helpful with setting up, cleaning up, and keeping the children safe and happy. There are four main components that the Boys and Girls Clubs focus on. Firstly, physical activity and health and safety. Secondly, leadership, growth and empowerment. Thirdly, learning and career development, and finally, community services. The motto representing all this is sweet and simple: “A good place to be.”



Practicing their catching skills






The Focus on Youth leaders in purple – Sabrina and Jessica, the supervisor Kimberly in the middle, and other staff!


Organization: Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence Heights

Location: Dante Alighieri Beatrice Campus (50 Ameer Ave)

Ages: 6-13

Date/Time: Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 5pm

Website: http://www.stalbansclub.ca/satellites/lh/lawrence.html

Contact info: shawn@stalbansclub.ca

Profile: Artstarts


Campers making masks!

Artstarts began in 1992, when four artists came together in the Toronto Oakwood-Eglington area. They wanted to use art in their neighborhood in a positive way. Since that time, Artstarts has grown in ways that continue to amaze even the founders.


A Focus on Youth leader helping with activity

Artstarts Summer Camp starts July 2nd, and goes until July 18th. The camp runs from 10am to 12pm. During this time, attendees participate in activities such as drama, icebreakers, outdoor plays, and visual arts. The age group of the campers is 4-13 years old.


Busy creating masterpieces!

The goal at the camp is to expose participants to different arts and crafts in a fun and educational way.






Finished results!




Wonderful Focus on Youth staff!


Organization:  Artstarts

Location(s): D’Arcy McGee, 20 Bansley Ave.

Ages:  4-13

Dates / Times:  July 2nd-18th

Website: http://www.artstarts.net/