SSLP Closing Ceremony Recap: Celebrating Achievements and Community Impact

Date: Sunday, March 3rd

Time: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Location: Century Gardens Recreation Center, Brampton

The Federation of Black Canadians (FBC/FCN) along with our program partner Skills for Life (SFL) gathered at the Century Gardens Recreation Center in Brampton last Sunday evening, to host our Supports for Student Learning Program (SSLP) closing ceremony. It was an unforgettable celebration of dedication and achievement for Black youths. Approximately 70 individuals filled the space, eager to honor the remarkable journey of our Black youths who participated in the program.

Volunteer Recognition 

The ceremony began with a heartfelt tribute to the volunteers of the SSLP program and was led by one of the program coordinators Sagal Dahir. Next, the audience applauded as Steph Velasquez, Ranique McFarlane, Monica Goheer, and Faith Ganda were recognized for their tireless dedication to mentoring and nurturing the growth of the youth. Following this, a touching video featuring mentor Ranique McFarlane shared the impact of mentorship, setting the stage for mentor Steph Velasquez to share her inspiring journey and the transformative work achieved within the program.

Celebration of our Black Youths

Transitioning into the celebration of our Black youths, program coordinators Raquel Reid and Sagal Dahir shared the program’s mission and the remarkable achievements of its participants. It has been an amazing journey for our Black youths, and we at FBC were excited to honor them for their commitment to growth through the program. With many heartfelt speeches and shared memories, the ceremony involved the presentation of award certificates and scholarship awards to the graduating students. Among the 23 graduates, three students were honored for displaying exceptional accomplishments in the program. Firstly, Sanad won the $6000 scholarship, Aisha was awarded $4000 and finally, Collins was given $2000. 

Final Remarks from Christopher Thompson

As the ceremony drew to a close, Christopher Thompson, the executive director of the Federation of Black Canadians and founder of Skills for Life, stepped forward to applaud the collective effort and dedication that had led to the success of the SSLP program. Expressing gratitude to the staff, volunteers, and the charismatic host Nate Fray-Smith, Thompson encouraged everyone to stay connected and engaged, fostering the spirit of community that had flourished throughout the program. All in all the attendees embraced the evening in the joyous atmosphere, creating memories that would last a lifetime for this year’s SSLP graduates of the Brampton cohort. 

About the SSLP

The Supports for Student Learning Program (SSLP) is a free after-school program for Black youth. The SSLP aims to support Black youth in their journey to post-secondary education. Through the program, participants will have access to workshops, academic tutoring, mentorship, and participate in physical activity. We’ve been able to give around $250,000 in scholarships to help provide the economic security they need to achieve their educational aspirations. The program has been offered in 7 locations including Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan.

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