A TOPSS Day at Osgoode with West Toronto Collegiate Students

Osgoode Hall Law School’s Teen Osgoode Program for Secondary Schools (TOPSS) hosted a full day of events and activities for students of West Toronto Collegiate Institute on Friday, Jan. 12. TOPSS is a collaborative outreach program that connects law students to high-school students through various initiatives and events. It is led by students for students.

Above: Teachers and students from West Toronto Collegiate Institute with Osgoode Dean Patrick Monahan (centre) during a visit to Osgoode Hall Law School on Jan. 12

Approximately 40 students enrolled in Grade 10 Civics & Careers, Grade 11 Law and Grade 12 International Law spent the day with TOPSS mentors and York University representatives. TOPSS mentors included York students Stephanie Brown, Christa Cunningham, Craig Gibson, Tarek Hamam, Marlon Hylton, Michelle Kushnir, Ruby Leung, Emma Michael, Thang Trieu and Jakki Warkentin. The West Toronto students were supervised by teacher Ravi Vethamany, educational assistant Kristine Mazzula, as well as teacher and guidance counsellor George Melnyk. They were joined by several Osgoode mentors and two lawyers from the Ontario Justice Education Network and the Adopt-a-School Program.

The day included a welcome from Osgoode Dean Patrick Monahan, a discussion about university life with Jennifer Newman of York University Admissions, a tour of Osgoode Hall Law School, a pizza lunch in the law school’s junior common room and a mock trial in the Moot Court Room. Cidalia Faria, assistant Crown attorney; Arif Virani, counsel for the Constitutional Law Branch of the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General; and Emma Michael, TOPSS mentor, acted as judges in the mock trial. The day ended with a closing thank you delivered by Vethamany and Carla Goncalves Gouveia, TOPSS student coordinator.

TOPSS is a new program at Osgoode Hall Law School. Established in the 2005-2006 academic year, the program is a community outreach initiative that partners Osgoode Hall Law School with Toronto-area high schools through a mentoring program.