This year’s commencement will be particularly memorable for the seventeen students who constitute the first graduating class of the Business and Social Action Program (BSAP) at Marc Garneau C.I.

BSAP’s first class began at the school in September 2011. The program was created by Mr. Persaud and Mr. Mirza to allow students to explore the junction between business and social justice. The specialized courses and learning excursions were designed to combine the two typically unrelated concepts. It was initially established as an opportunity for graduating students from Valley Park Middle School to pursue their interests and explore possible career paths.

BSAP allows incoming Grade 9 students to focus their studies towards a specific field. They have the opportunity to learn and excel in an environment tailored to their interests.

“BSAP impacts MGCI because it gives MGCI more value. BSAP is all about merging business and social justice together which is not often seen in the real world. It makes MGCI unique and appealing because it has a program that is teaching students that the two can exist together; a business can make a profit and help communities equally.”

–    Selina McCallum

“BSAP has been a special journey for me. It helped me create a strong circle of connections and, most importantly, served as a critical tool that helped me lay down a strong foundation for my future. It allowed me to explore fields such as business, science, and social sciences and view them from a number of lenses.”

–    Saim Amir

“BSAP is the opportunity to explore limitless spaces in business and social sciences. It allows the students of the program to be as creative as possible as they receive opportunities that include starting their own business, running a business for a day, and attending conferences about social justice.”

–    Selina McCallum

From starting their own businesses to learning about corporate social responsibility, BSAP has provided students with opportunities to benefit the community while enhancing their education.

“BSAP has helped me stand out in the outside world…I now have the mindset of a businesswoman and an ethical individual.”

–    Kabi Jaishankar

Students have the opportunity to attend various trips. Grade 9 students go camping at the Etobicoke Outdoor Education Center, and the Grade 12 students visit Albion Hills. There are also several smaller events, such as the Grade 11 BSAP Women in Finance reception and the Grade 8 welcome dinner. The BSAP Cafe, Movie Night and End of Year Wrap Up are three such events that allow students in the program to form bonds with their peers.

“The end of year wrap up [will] just a fun afternoon with all BSAPians. We are a small family, yet we are all so close.”

–    Ameera Seiyad

With their high school journey coming to an end, BSAP graduates are excited to apply their knowledge to the real world.

“In comparison to an average graduate, BSAP graduates possess an exposure to content that interconnects social issues with subjects such as business, science, and literature. This exposure helps BSAP graduates become socially aware and able to see patterns present in the economic, social, political, and environmental spectrum at a national/international level which ultimately serves as a huge advantage.”

–    Saim Amir