More than 40 out of the 300 summer job positions at Focus On Youth were given in custodial positions. Unlike our program’s camp counsellors, custodians work in several high schools across the board to help caretakers prepare for the upcoming school year this Fall.

Neil McNeil custodian John Paolo de Lemos

One of these lucky participants was John Paolo de Lemos, a recent graduate from Jean Vanier CSS. He was placed at Neil McNeil High School.

According to John, there is no such thing as a typical day. His job consists of a variety of tasks: cleaning lockers, lifting furniture, sweeping and mopping the floors — simple jobs that turn out to be large feats when considering an entire school. This is why, to John, he feels a sense of accomplishment whenever he finishes a certain task.

“My favourite part about working at my placement is finishing a certain task and looking back after to see how successful I am doing it,” John said. “For example seeing the lockers shining after all the hard work I put in makes me feel happy and take pride of my job,”

Sweeping the floors of an empty classroom

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In addition to feeling accomplished, he also learns a lot from his supervisor, Brian Cormack. According to John, Brian highlights the importance of teamwork. He sees leadership as all about cooperation; there typically aren’t any issues between the custodians. If there are, they will immediately talk about it together.

“The only way we can accomplish tasks is when we work together,” John said. “Conflicts can affect our how we do our tasks in a bad way.”

John with his supervisor and mentor, Brian Cormack

John works from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM on weekdays. All FOY custodians work through July and half of August.

Good luck to John in entering university this coming Fall!

PROFILE: Toronto Fire Services


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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.

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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.

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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



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


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PROFILE: Custodial Position (James Cardinal McGuigan)


The Focus on Youth program not only provides youth across the Toronto Catholic District School board over 300 camp counselor jobs but also several opportunities for custodial positions. This group of individuals are hired to assist with the custodial duties in several high school across the board and lessen the work load of caretakers during summer as they prepare for the coming school year.


Joshua Reid, a student of Msgr Percy Johnson, is one such Focus on Youth worker who was given the opportunity to work as a supporting custodian at James Cardinal McGuigan. His daily routine at work consists of; moping the floors, sweeping, buffering and assisting the school’s custodians with various tasks.

During his interview with us, he mentioned, “my job has given me a new sense of responsibility. I now know how to be punctual and also pay close attention to details. It’s essential in this job”.

Good luck to Joshua in his future endeavours!


School of Placement: James Cardinal McGuigan

Dates: July 2nd – August 14th


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


Contact Info:
Swelen Andari
Youth Program Worker, Children and Youth Services
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

Profile: Custodial Positions


The Assistant Custodial position began along with Focus On Youth itself. 40 positions were created to help TCDSB custodians with their heavy workloads during the summer.


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An assistant custodian’s responsibilities are the light work of TCDSB custodians. As one of the custodians said, “They give us an extra pair of hands that makes us another step ahead, all those little things that they do for us add up to be a big help”

This job has helped students prepare for the real world. They will become more punctual, responsible, and more social. They will also learn that being in the industry is not as easy as it looks. They are given an opportunity to literally step in the shoes of the hard working custodians.


Custodian student Gerald



Custodian student: Ivyrose and Custodian: Tom




Focus on Youth Promo #3

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By Adrian Camara and Khris Persaud

Focus on Youth Promo #2

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By Zoe Melo and Keenon Peterson