Q: When did you join MGCI as a Grade 10 Vice Principal?
A: I officially joined MGCI as a Grade 10 VP on 3 February 2022. Before that, I bounced around quite a bit, so I worked at a number of different schools. Most recently, I was at Cedarbrae Collegiate Institute.
Q: What are the main responsibilities you have in this position within the school community?
A: Primarily, I manage all Grade 10 issues and concerns. In addition to that, I manage student success; guidance; excursions, so if anyone wants to take a trip, they have to go through me; and school-wide events like prom. I also help to address some equity concerns and issues by building learning and capacity in our school to handle these issues as they arise.
Q: How has your experience been working with students as a VP?
A: It’s been absolutely incredible. And I’m not just saying that, I’ve really grown to love the school. The student population is so diverse and there are so many unique insights, lifestyles, and ways of addressing things that I’ve found very rewarding to engage with. Finally, the population has really embraced me here so it’s been incredible for me as a first-timer experiencing this space.
Q: COVID-19 has evidently changed the way school works. How has your job in particular been influenced by the virus?
A: It’s strange, because it’s hard to remember a time prior to COVID in terms of all the things we need to keep account of in our regular workdays. What I mean by that is, I’m just so used to dealing with a number of different obstacles and challenges in a regular day, and it’s because of what COVID has brought into our world. I can’t remember not having to deal with, like, seventy different problems, pertaining to health, illness, and absences. But yeah, I feel almost normalized to it now.
Q: Now that schools are reopening, what are you most excited about?
A: I am most excited to see students happy, to see them engaging with their friends and their social environments. I mean, so much of our well-being is connected to our relationships and the quality of those relationships, so knowing that the in-person experience lends itself to better relationships is so beneficial for students now. Kids are going to be able to enjoy that in-person experience at events, like sporting events, and whatever else it might be. So, I’m very excited to see how it all unfolds.
Q: What are some things you like to do outside of school? What are some of your favourite pastimes?
A: Well, I work a lot. Outside of my work here, I run two businesses: I run a non-profit, called Generation Chosen, which deals with mental health and emotional intelligence for youth and young adults; I run a consultancy agency, so I deal with corporate entities that contract my staff for general mental health training. I also built another charity called the Foundation For Black Communities (FFBC), and its goal is to support Black nonprofits and charities across Canada. With the FFBC, we successfully lobbied the government for two hundred million dollars to do that work across Canada. In addition, I worked for another nonprofit called Operation Black Vote Canada, and the goal there is to increase the representation of people of colour within our political ecosystem. So, I get to engage with federal, provincial, and municipal leaders on policy changes and also create relationships between often marginalized communities and political representatives.
Apart from that, I love playing video games when I have a couple of minutes of free time. I also have two kids both under three years old, so I try to play with them as much as I can too. I like clothes and fashion, so I’m always looking at websites for that kind of stuff as well. And finally, I love TV and films. I’m a big horror film guy.
Q: What is one message you’d like to send to the student body?
A: In light of the times we’re living in, tough times don’t last, tough people do. And, for every young person that’s really striving for greatness and trying to achieve goals that they didn’t always see achieved in generations before them, it’s up to them to break the cycle, it’s up to them to live up to their potential.