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

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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.

Profile: Footsteps to Success (Father Henry Carr)

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Footsteps to Success is one of two camps founded by Andre Fullerton and community partners. It is an initiative that is designed to help urban communities progress and  become involved with youth.




Footsteps Camp is for youth ages 10-15 and runs (like most FOY funded programs) for 6 weeks, free of admission. Footsteps at Father Henry Carr provides programs and activities for the youth of the Rexdale community. Campers have the opportunity to experience Sport, Art and Leadership activities. As a result, the youth are able to build friendships, leadership skills and have a memorable experience.




Focus on Youth students are mindful of Andre’s positive vision  . The students act as positive role models by using their skills and training to lead, supervise and relate with the youth. The leaders also bring forth a positive attitude that encourages a hospitable environment.




Organization: Footsteps to Success


Father Henry Carr C.S.S.
1760 Martin Grove Rd, Toronto, ON. M9V 3S4
Blessed Mother Teresa C.S.S.
40 Sewells Rd, Toronto, ON.
M1B 3G5

Ages: 10-15

Date/Times: July 2nd to August 9th, 9 AM – 4 PM

Website: http://www.tcdsb.org/FORSTUDENTS/FocusOnYouth/Pages/Footsteps-to-Success-summer-camp.aspx

Contact info: 

Andre Fullerton
TCDSB Supervisor of Outreach, Community Use of Schools
Phone: 416-222-8282 ext. 2310

Profile: Recognize For Real

Recognize for Real is a youth organization that was founded in 2005. The program runs for 6 weeks and takes place at Monsignor Fraser and serves the surrounding community that is classified as a high-risk neighborhood.



The program focuses on making positive strides in the community  through leadership and sport initiatives, as well as encouraging participants and staff to become “REAL” (Respect Everyone and Life) individuals. The programs seek to provide youth with an enjoyable experience, positive role models and a foundation of life skills that will be beneficial in overcoming any challenge.


The Focus on Youth staff act as  mentors who are able to relate to the youth, as well as bringing positive influences and leadership. The students are from within the community, and take pride in knowing that they can guide the kids down the right path.



Organization: Recognize for Real (Monsignor Fraser, 45 Norfinch Ave.)

Dates/Times: July 2nd to August 9th

Contact Info: clayton.thomas27@yahoo.ca, 647-8237325

Profile: St. Andrews Summer Camp

 St. Andrews Summer Camp


St. Andrews Summer Camp was founded 8 years ago by the parish of St. Andrews. It has since grown and developed to serve the church community, as well as the surrounding Rexdale community.




The Camp is geared towards children aged 5-12, and its runs for 6 weeks. In addition, the camp integrates religion into its sports and recreation activities to provide the children with a fun experience while building  positive attitudes, leadership and problem solving skills.



The Focus on Youth staff provide a helping hand, take initiative, and use the skills they have gained from Camp Olympia and other experiences.




Organization: St. Andrews Summer Camp (St. Andrew Catholic School, 2533 Kipling Avenue)

Ages: 5-12

Dates/Times: 6 weeks in the summer, Monday to Friday, 8:30 to 4

Contact Information: standrewspar@yahoo.ca


Profile: Saint Christopher’s House


The Saint Christopher’s House camp at Senhor Santo Cristo Catholic Elementary School is a great place for kids to spend the day and have fun. With small classrooms like these, it is easy for the organization to give the kids all the attention they need. The kids are split into groups, where they play games for their age group. They can even bring their own games or handhelds from home to play. With all sorts of events and special days (like pizza lunch), these kids are always excited and ready for the next day.


The Saint Christopher’s House camp runs for eight weeks in the summer, and through the year with an after school program.


The kids are always excited for trips, such as their upcoming one to Jays camp day. They have already enjoyed their trips to Wild Water Kingdom, Center Island, and the ROM.


The Focus On Youth leaders are a great help, because they give the children more attention than regular employees alone can. It is a great help for the kids to have leaders who are closer in age to them than the adults.DSCN0302




Organization: Saint Christopher’s House

Location(s): Senhor Santo Cristo Catholic Elementary School, 30 Humbert Street

Ages: All ages

Dates/Times: 8 weeks in the summer

Website: http://www.stchrishouse.org/

Contact Info:

Telephone: (416) 532 4828

Notes: Go to their website for more information.

Profile: Frontlines



Weston Frontlines Centre is a non-profit organization that provides much-needed services and programs, as well as a safe environment for the youth of Weston Lawrence neighborhood. Their motto, “Bring People Together,” is an example of the inclusivity that the Frontlines community offers, as they welcome individuals of various ethnicities,  faiths, and backgrounds




The organization aims to foster wellness and respect among the diverse community by  giving youth the opportunity to build positive relationships, while experiencing  recreational programs.




The FOY staff bring positive influence and leadership that helps guide the program. They are responsible, organized, and bring new and fresh ideas to Frontlines.



Contact Information: Denise Gillard

Phone Number: 416 244 7017

Email: denise@frontlines.co

Location: Weston Frontlines Centre (Weston Road & Lawrence ave)

Profile: Basketball World Toronto


The Dovercourt Basketball World Toronto camp in Saint Anthony Elementary School is an amazing opportunity for kids that want to play basketball. All of the student leaders are skilled and knowledgeable about the sport. These leaders are also students of the teacher supervisor at the program.  The kids get a great amount of personal attention because of the amount of counselors, and the small amount of kids in the camp. They are great at motivating and teaching their kids exactly what they need. This positive encouragement keeps kids coming back, because they know they can keep getting better.

The boys have a strong bond with each other

Basketball World Toronto was founded in 2005 to meet a need for high quality basketball programs in the city of Toronto. The founder saw the need to improve basketball programs by taking a more authentic basketball approach to the development and management of the programs.

Tyler and Chris leading the boys though warm ups

Basketball has the ability to have a positive effect on children’s lives when taught the right way. Camp BWT offers boys and girls a high quality basketball setting to learn and develop their skills in the game of basketball. The goal of the camps are to focus on teaching the core fundamental skills required to play basketball.

Explaining the drill
Adrian doing some under the basket shots
Getting them in with an amazing form
Camp rules and points system.
Coach Mike and Adrian







Organization: Basketball World Toronto

Location(s): St. Anthony Catholic Elementary School, 130 Shanly Street

Ages: All ages

Dates/Times: 6 weeks in the summer

Website: http://www.bwt.ca/

Contact Info: Telephone: (416) 889-8727

Profile: Dovercourt Boys & Girls Camp (St. Luigi)


The Dovercourt Boys & Girls camp at St Luigi is a great summer opportunity for children of all ages. The children have as much fun as they can because they have many student leaders to help out. The boys and girls are excited to go to school  every day, with student leaders who enjoy what they do, along with a large variety of games and activities that keep them coming back. The kids have so much fun that even the student leaders want to come back next year. With big smiles on both the kids and leaders faces, they look forward to the next day.


The camp’s main focus is to gain new experiences and and friends. They mainly work with education through recreation by doing math, English, and other subjects through games.

The kids love to play the carnival games that they set up.


FOY staff bounding
Picking teams
What a kick






Organization: Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club

Location(s): St. Luigi Catholic Elementary School, 2 Ruskin Avenue

Ages: All ages

Dates/Times: 8 weeks in the summer

Website: http://www.dovercourtkids.com/

Contact Info:

Telephone: (416) 530-4233

Notes: Go to their website for more information.

Profile: Dovercourt Boys & Girls Camp (St. Anthony)


The Dovercourt Boys & Girls Club is an amazing youth program that welcomes kids of all ages. The Boys & Girls Club have their own building, as well as a placement down the street at St. Anthony Elementary School. They have staff and student leaders who exhibit a great attitude on a day to day basis, along with a gorgeous location, and day by day activities that keep the kids coming back. This is a first-rate place for children of all ages to enjoy!

Game time

Not only does this program run in the summer and march breaks, it also runs throughout the year. Over breaks and special schedules, they are open from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm.

Getting ready for’ what time is it mr.wolf’

Over 320 kids attend the summer camp daily. The kids are given hourly choices of different activities that are prepared that day.

Everyone runs from the wolf

This is the first year that the Boys & Girls Club operated out of St. Anthony, it is also the first year they had Focus on Youth staff.

We got 3 wolfs!
What time is it, Mr.Wolf?
1 o’clock
Staff are also having fun too!
Staff helping out
More games!

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Organization: Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club

Location(s): St. Anthony Catholic Elementary School, 130 Shanly Street

Ages: All ages

Dates/Times: 6 weeks in the summer

Website: http://dovercourtbgc.com/

Contact Info:

Telephone: (416) 536-4102

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