I am constantly reminded that Point Douglas is a resilient community.
There may be hardships but there is also potential. All the evidence shows that a big part of realizing the potential of our neighbourhood is through education.
I am always inspired to see so many young people graduate in front of their family and friends at the elementary, junior high, and high schools in Point Douglas.
But it doesn’t stop there. Learning is taking place not only in our schools but in our daycares and adult education classes, like King Edward School’s Open Doors Literacy, Lord Selkirk Park Adult Learning, and Kaakiyow at Turtle Island Community Centre. In addition we have education centres like Aboriginal Community Campus and Louis Riel Institute helping to create a bright future.
The Merchants Corner project will be an educational hub hosting the University of Winnipeg’s Department of Inner-City Studies and CEDA-Pathways to Education Program. The new facility will be part of a vision for a North End Community Campus on Selkirk Avenue including the University of Manitoba’s Inner-City Social Work Program, Urban Circle Training Centre, and the Makoonsag Intergenerational Children’s Centre.
Our whole community is working towards writing a new chapter in our story. We can give our kids a tap on the shoulder to stay in school and let them know that a post-secondary education can be part of their future.
To help make this happen we need to reach out beyond moms and dads, to everyone involved in a child’s life — from grandparents to uncles and aunties. When I was growing up it was my teachers, coaches, and neighbours who provided the supports I needed to succeed.
I saw it when my grade six teacher, Mrs. Wilson, was patient with me at school, when Leti, a Filipina owner of a corner store made me part of her family, and when Rita and Denis, managers of Norquay Community Centre, opened the gym early for me.
If we are going to ask our children to overcome challenges, we have to show them young people who have succeeded. It is important that we take the time to share and celebrate our stories of success.
Congratulations to all graduates on all their hard work. We can be proud of their achievements and the role models they have become. Think of how they will inspire their younger brothers and sisters, family, and friends.