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This article was published 8/7/2019 (872 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Jaime Adao was all set up for success. He was going to take over his parents’ business and study culinary arts and business administration.
But those plans ended too soon after Adao was the victim of a random attack while trying to protect his grandmother during a home invasion. The 17-year-old boy died tragically in March.
On June 28, Marjory Kerr, president of Booth University College, presented Adao’s parents Jaime and Imelda with an honorary diploma in business administration at a ceremonial gathering full of emotion.
"Today represents a very unique opportunity to recognize the legacy of this young man’s life," Kerr said at the presentation.
"I think he would have fit in well at our campus, I think he would have enjoyed the program, and we would have been so pleased, thrilled, to have him part of our student body."
"This is the first time Booth has participated in this kind of opportunity, and I think that does speak to the uniqueness of Jaime’s life and the circumstances that we are honouring here today. It wasn’t (a difficult decision). Very quickly we came to a place where we agreed, yes, this is a good thing for us to participate in," Kerr said.
Kerr said she first received a request for the honour from the office of Robert-Falcon Ouellette, MP for Winnipeg Centre. She was struck by the notion and then met with Jaime and Imelda at their bakery, Jimel’s Bakery (660 Sheppard St.).
"Clearly, Jaime was your joy. You shared with us photographs, stories, samples of written work, future plans, tears, and laughter," Kerr said at the ceremony.
Young Jaime had a passion for basketball and baking. He grew up around the family business and was one day meant to honour his parent’s legacy by taking over the business. Kerr also mentioned his courage, faith, and altruism. She said these qualities are reflective of the BUC mission and commitment "to education for a better world."
Flor Marcelino, MLA for Logan, said, "this means so much for Jimboy’s parents and our community.
"He was a wonderful person and will be forever missed. He represented love, kindness, and compassion. His memory will live on. Thank you, Jim and Mel, for holding strong and praise the Lord for the strength of your faith," Marcelino continued
"We will be here to support you."
Ouellette said that when people move to Canada, they expect it to be a safe place where they can achieve their dreams to be successful.
"They sacrifice, they work extremely long hours when they come to Canada…and they raise their children with hope and often with great faith in God…and to have their life taken is heartbreaking. It’s truly not what the Canadian dream should be about. This goes against what we want," he said.
In a statement, Adao’s parents said, "Jimboy always dreamed of taking over the family business and obtaining a diploma in culinary arts and business administration.
"It gives us great joy to know Dr. Marjory R. Kerr, president of Booth University College, is helping us honour his memory."
Community journalist — The Times
Ligia Braidotti was the community journalist for The Times until 2019.