WALK OF EXCELLENCE FROM JANE AND FINCH TO YORK UNIVERSITY

 No CNN or CBC, But the new Jane and Finch Grads Got a Parade and an Airplane to Mark Their Passage 

BY STEPHEN WEIR On Thursday, the annual Walk of Excellence took place, marking a significant celebration for over 500 graduating high school students from the Jane Finch/Black Creek community. The event, organized by the Blackhurst Cultural Centre, local high schools, York-TD Community Engagement Centre , and the Toronto District School Board, aimed to honour the achievements of students from CW Jefferys, Westview, Emery, Downsview, and James Cardinal McGuigan High Schools.

The festivities kicked off at CW Jefferys High School at 10am with a series of vibrant student presentations on the front lawn. Following this, the students, filled with excitement and pride, marched, danced, and walked north along Sentinel Road toward York University. Along their route, a small plane soared above, pulling a banner with words of encouragement for the graduates. This unexpected sight was a thrilling surprise for many, adding to the day's celebratory spirit.


The event featured a range of entertainment curated and performed by the students themselves, including songs, lawn dancing, and dub poetry. Ida Sadu, the event's founder and the day's spirited ringmaster, remarked, "There won’t be anything on CNN or the CBC tonight, but we are still making big news." Despite the lack of mainstream media coverage, the event was a significant community celebration.




The campus was bustling with activity not only due to the Walk of Excellence crib but also because of the filming of the TV series "GenV," a spin-off from "The Boys," which brought a convoy of movie trucks to the campus. Additionally, a significant police presence was noted due to an unrelated incident where York University requested police assistance to remove an unauthorized encampment of some 30 Gaza protesters.

As the students arrived at York University, they were welcomed with open arms by the staff and students of the University. The ceremony included student awards for the grade 12 grads and a celebratory lunch. The event saw the attendance of notable figures such as Colleen Russell-Rawlins, the Director of the Toronto District School Board, and Shon Williams, a former Walk alumnus and Downsview student, who delivered a special presentation.
The Walk of Excellence is more than just a parade; it is an urban rite of passage symbolizing the transition from secondary to post-secondary education. The event underscores the importance of community, achievement, and the bright futures ahead for these graduates.


This year's Walk of Excellence was a testament to the hard work and dedication of the students and the supportive community around them. It highlighted the importance of looking out for one another and celebrating every step of the journey toward success.

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