2021 – 2022 School Year
AFROCENTRIC MENTORSHIP & ENRICHMENT PROGRAM
Session One: Writing + Kujichagulia (self-determination)
This was our first ever virtual live session for our School-Year Afrocentric Mentorship & Enrichment Program! The session’s theme was writing and it was paired with the Afrocentric principle of Kujichagulia, meaning self-determination. It was filled with exciting icebreakers, thoughtful discussion on the theme of the month and featured an uplifting presentation from Ontario’s first Poet Laureate, Randell Adjei. Founder of R.I.S.E. Edutainment, Randell’s story of how writing poetry in highschool started his journey of empowerment was an inspiring guide for discussion . Mentors and mentees used this to fuel their conversations in their mentor pods. They took time to talk about their favorite literature and reflected on ways they’ve shown self-determination.
Session Two: Chemistry & Natural Science Research + Nia (purpose)
Our second week of the program featured chemist and STEM diversity advocate, Anna Ampaw. Anna is a 5th year chemistry PhD candidate and founder of Empowering Female Minds in STEM (EFeMS). The theme for this week was Scientific Research, with the principle being Nia, meaning purpose. Anna gave us a first-hand perspective on the day in the life of a postdoctoral chemist and shared with us her journey in finding her purpose. This session began with some clever science riddles, and what it means to find your purpose in life. We learned how necessary it may be to have to pivot in your journey, because it could open a door with greater opportunity!
Session Three: Public Health + Ujima (teamwork)
For our third session of the program participants were able to listen to the journey of Dr. Michelle Quaye who is a medical doctor completing her specialty training in Public Health and Preventive Medicine including Family Medicine. Our theme of the month was Public Health, with the principle of Ujima, meaning teamwork. Michelle’s experiences along her journey, through completing her MD and BMSc at Schulich School of Medicine, and Dentistry at Western University, along with her interest in public health were insightful, really displaying what it means to practice Ujima through public health. Participants got to discuss public health and ujima in their mentor pods, and also work on a case study with their groups as an activity to critically think about policy while also displaying active informed togetherness by putting their minds together!
Session Four: Social Science Research + Imani (faith/believing in self)
The fourth month of our program featured Kwasi Adu-Poku, a master’s student studying Public Policy & Administration at X University. Kwasi completed his undergraduate studies at McMaster University in Kinesiology, where he received over $70,000 in scholarships, the Most Outstanding Male Graduating Athlete Award from playing varsity basketball, and the President Award, one of his university’s highest honors for his leadership, anti-black racism work, and community engagement. The theme of the month was Social Research, paired with the principle Imani, meaning faith/believing in self. Participants started with icebreakers to help get the flow going for the session, and then were able to spend time with their mentors and pod members, putting on their research lenses and exploring how to do social research and why we do it! Kwasi’s discussion helped our participants understand what it meant to adjust their bare minimum, along with holding themselves accountable, and the activity for the month helped them put it into practice!
Session Five: Computer Science & Engineering + Kuumba (creativity)
The fifth session for our School-Year Afrocentric Mentorship & Enrichment Program featured two guest’s, Carlton Osinde and Roba Dekamo. Carlton currently attends York University where he takes Computer Science and a minor in Statistics. He also works as an IT Project Manager and Data Analyst for The Focus Company which is a consulting firm that looks to inject agile practices and project management principles into businesses while leveraging technology. Roba graduated in 2020 from McMaster’s Computer Engineering program with a minor in Business. He currently volunteers with Hamilton’s Black Boys Code chapter and works in Software Testing for Sonova, a company that designs hearing aids and other hearing solutions. The theme for this month was Computer Science, paired with the principle Kuuma, meaning creativity. Our participants really enjoyed the opportunity to listen to two different perspectives and journeys on the same topic. This allowed them to see that our journey’s are specifically designed for us and won’t look the same as everyone else, even if our aims look similar. Participants got to practice computer engineering first hand, by designing their own version of the popular game Flappy Bird, getting to include their own creative twists!
Session Six: Law + Ujamaa (cooperative economics)
The sixth session of our program featured Chinonso Ekeanyanwu who is a first-year at Western Law. Chinonso’s academic journey started at the University of Waterloo were she earned a BSc in Biomedical Science with plans to attend medical school. Through her journey she discovered another passion that led down a different path, and now she aims to combine her science education with her legal education, through the field of intellectual property law. The theme for this month was Law, paired with Ujamaa, meaning cooperative economics. Participants were able to see through this month’s session what it meant to practice cooperative economics and how it can be defined and exemplified in our day-to-day practices. To build their critical thinking skills, the activity for the session was a debate, which allowed participants to discuss the intent of city ordinances and identify the role citizens play in advocating in policy debate.
Session Seven: Pharmacology + Umoja (unity)
The seventh session of our program we had the honor of featuring Audrey Esemezie and our very own mentor Rachiel Chirara. Audrey a student at Western University in London, Ontario and is pursuing a Bachelors of Medical Sciences with an Honors specialization in Physiology and Pharmacology. Rachiel is a second year student in Pharmacology at McGill University. Her interests are in the field of neuropharmacology, specifically concerning drug action and possible drug targets in the nervous system. Our theme for this month’s session was pharmacology, paired with the principle of umoja, meaning unity, displaying how we use pharmacology and the study of medicine to ensure health for us all. Participants got the opportunity to explore different kinds of medicine including herbal medicines in their mentor pods, along with reflecting on the negative side of medicine.
Session Eight: Creative Arts + Kujieleza (self-expression)
The final month of our program featured Jalen Nelson who is also known as Lickmyfashion. Jalen is a Stylist, Creative Director, Fashion Influencer, and Educator. His brand represents being comfortable in your own skin and pushing the boundary as far as you can go. The theme for our final session was creative arts and kujieleza, meaning self-expression. In our mentor pads participants were able to explore what creativity meant to them and explore different careers that displayed creativity in action such as animation, cooking, and screenwriting. Participants were encouraged to seek what their passions were this month, with Jalen giving them a message on breaking the boundaries with individual creativity, and being encouraged to follow their individual interest with this month’s activity. With the hope that they learn how to stay resilient, persistent, and true to themselves through it all!
This year, we launched our first ever virtual tutoring program at Find Your Path Canada. The program ran for 34 weeks starting from October 4th 2021 to June 23rd 2022. Sessions ran from 4 – 7 PM from Monday to Thursdays. Students needing help in English, Math and Science at the grade 6 – 10 level were paired up with expert tutors who were knowledgeable in their requested subjects. Each week, students and their tutors met on Zoom to go over homework and cover challenging topics if time permitted. Topics covered in weekly sessions ranged from going over Grade 6 geometry to determining voltage in a simple circuit to formulating a thesis statement for English class. The virtual tutoring sessions also provided the opportunity for students to explore new subjects and ideas with their tutors, which is not always possible during regular school hours. Students also received the added benefit of seeing their tutor’s friendly faces every week as they mastered their homework.
Over the course of the program, we held 544 hour long sessions where students and tutors met in their individual zoom rooms and went over homework. From our session feedback forms, we have an average student rating of 8.5/10, which speaks to the quality of our programming and the enthusiasm and knowledge of our tutors.
Here are some quotes from students and tutors who participated in the program:
“Thank you for all of your work and help this semester, I’ve really appreciated it. My final mark in science is an A, and I am really happy.”
“My tutor is really nice and covered a lot”
“I have been thoroughly enjoying tutoring [Student #1] and [Student #2] this school year. Their inquisitive questions, dedication to their studies, and their facility for finding humour in the face of, at times, challenging school work/content, has been inspiring and rewarding.”
- Names are omitted to maintain participant and tutor privacy