York University graduate student Sam Tecle has been honoured with the North York Mirror’s Urban Hero Award, for his notable contribution to education and for being a role model for youth living in the Jane and Finch community.
“I am blessed, honoured and humbled by this award. The recognition serves as a validation of my work and motivation to continue on,” says Tecle who is a doctoral candidate in sociology, in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies.
“For me, it was always an idea that where I lived and the community I was part of, that giving back was important. And for me, that was always through education,” Tecle told The Mirror, upon receiving the award.
“I am thrilled that Sam is a recipient of this respected award, which honours grassroots level heroes for their efforts, sacrifices and contributions, having positive impact on our communities,” says York Faculty of Education Professor Carl James, who is Tecle’s PhD supervisor and nominator for the award. “Sam is an example of the many students doing exemplary work through involvement in neighbourhood community initiatives at York University.”
This summer, Tecle taught Grade 9 students from the Jane and Finch community attending a six-week program, Success Beyond Limits. The program is a joint initiative of York University and Jays Care Foundation, in partnership with the Toronto District School Board. Sponsored by the Faculty of Education, the program was conducted in technology enhanced classrooms of Osgoode Hall Law School.
The Sudanese-born immigrant of Eritrean descent has been a youth facilitator, focusing on educational attainment, sex education, as well as personal and career development with many community organizations across the Greater Toronto Area. Tecle was among the 16 recipients, in the categories of arts and culture, health and science, education, sports, environment, business and community, who received their awards at a ceremony, Nov. 5.