2017 Graduation & End of Year Ceremony

Among the many amazing things about a YMCA Academy graduation, the one that stands out for me is the sense of shared celebration. We are members of a close and inclusive community of learners, who support one another socially and academically. Many of our students come to the school with little hope of success based on their experience within the education system; in their admissions interviews with me prior to enrolment, many of their parents and guardians express their sense of hopelessness for their children’s academic and life success.

So, the sense of celebration, of having achieved beyond their expectations, of heading off to new challenges well-equipped for success — this is what is behind the entirely positive vibe of the night! The fact that this was our largest graduating class to date only added to the energy of the evening.

Each member of The Academy is fully invested in the success of our students, and we all experience with them the sense of accomplishment and excitement for what comes next. That this is a shared experience is clear from every conversation I have that evening. It’s clear as well from what was shared on various social media.

Have a look here:

I am so proud of my youngest daughter Emma. In spite of all the challenges the world through at her, she persevered and…
Posted by Ben Mair on Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Such an amazing Graduation Evening last night. Many thanks to Don Adams, the teachers, and staff. YMCA Academy is a…
Posted by Jules Steele Clyde on Thursday, June 29, 2017

As we move into a new academic year, I keep the graduation in my mind as motivation. See you next year!

Check out more photos from this event on our Facebook page!

Tokens 4 Change: Youth Helping Youth

Once again YMCA Academy students participated in Tokens 4 Change, an annual event which raises funds for Youth Without Shelter, a youth shelter in Etobicoke that gives a home to 1,000 homeless youth a year.

In January, the entire school participated in a workshop led by Youth Without Shelter, that opened their eyes to the reality of youth homelessness. They learned about the diverse reasons that youth find themselves without a home. Many were surprised to realize that you cannot tell if someone is homeless from their appearance. This workshop had a lasting impact on students and inspired many of them to sign up for Tokens 4 Change.

On Friday, February 3rd, 10 Academy students canvassed at St. Andrew’s station, covering the busy 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. shift. They were loud, energetic and creative in their messaging, encouraging commuters to reach into their pockets and make change for Toronto’s homeless youth. Thanks to their help St. Andrew’s was the second high producing station this year. This one day event raised almost $100,000 which will go directly to supporting youth transit costs and fund essential, empowering programs at Youth Without Shelter.

Academy student awarded a Shine Music bursary

The YMCA Academy’s very own Tristan Andrews was the recent recipient of a bursary award through Toronto’s Shine Music program.

He, along with nine other youth from the city, were celebrated at Lula Lounge in early March to a sold-out and very enthusiastic crowd of supporters. There were a number of impressive local musicians performing and a wonderful speech of tribute to Jim Fay in whose memory the bursaries are awarded.

We are so proud of Tristan and look forward to seeing what he gets up to with his new ukulele, harmonicas and other instruments. Congratulations!!

Check out the rest the rest of the pictures on our Facebook page!

Cooking up a storm!

Do you like cooking? Every Wednesday there is a cooking club after school which starts at 3:45pm until about 5:00pm. It is happening in the orange room and sometimes in the childcare kitchen. It is open to all the students from the Academy and it is organized by Chef Katie C. In cooking club we learn how to shop, chop, grate, bake, and clean up the kitchen. It is a lot of fun to cook and eat with your friends. Just make sure that you wash your hands first before touching food!

By Andrea B. (Academy student)

Check out the rest the rest of the pictures on our Facebook page!