Local high-school students join second annual Walk of Excellence to York’s Keele campus

Walk with excellence image for YFile homepage
students wearing t-shirts
Students wore Walk with Excellence t-shirts

York University welcomed more than 400 local high-school students, along with their community and school supporters, to the Keele campus and Osgoode Hall Law School as part of the second annual Walk of Excellence.

The students walked in a parade, which was organized by Educational Attainment West (a United Way Toronto Youth Challenge Fund initiative) under the leadership of Executive Director Itah Sadu and Community Liaison Shannon Ashman. The parade was sponsored by the Toronto District School Board and York Centre for Education and Community and took place June 13. It celebrated graduating students from C.W. Jefferys, Westview Centennial, Downsview Secondary and Emery Collegiate and is a symbolic rite of passage marking their transition from high school to postsecondary education. It was also an important event for the Black Creek community as it was a public celebration of student success.

As students walked up Sentinel Road on the south end of the Keele campus, they were greeted with cheers and banners from student ambassadors from the University’s Recruitment and Admissions units and staff from the York University-TD Community Engagement Centre. Students were presented with medals and entered Osgoode Hall Law

Students arrive at York University's Osgoode Hall Law School
Students arrive at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School

School for a celebratory reception and to receive well wishes from senior York and school board administrators and community leaders.

For the second year in a row, George Elliott Clarke, the City of Toronto’s poet laureate, penned an original poem marking the occasion. The poem was emblazoned on the T-shirts, which students wore during the walk.

In her remarks, Vice Provost Academic Alice Pitt said the Walk of Excellence serves as a demonstration of York’s engagement with the Black Creek community and an ongoing commitment to promoting access to postsecondary education.

“York University is proud to be the university of the Black Creek community. We welcome students from our neighbouring schools and our teaching, research and service is enriched by the breadth and depth of collaborations that we have with our Black Creek community partners,” said Pitt.

Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Poonam Puri, who is the law school’s associate dean, and Faculty of Education Professor Carl James, the director of the York Centre for Education and Community were at the event and congratulated students on their achievement. In addition to the York Centre for Education and Community, several York offices contributed to the event’s success – including, but not limited to, Osgoode Hall Law School Office of the Dean, Office of the Vice Provost Academic, York University-TD Community Engagement Centre, Recruitment and Community Relations.

How We Made the Grade

Do the right thing –
Do the great thing.
Make Heaven ring –
Lift voice and sing!

Let us aspire –
Let us inspire –
Set hearts afire:
Raise hopes higher!

Because we took
Up pen and book,
Or dreamt stars shook
At dunks we book,

Or scores we take,
Records we break,
Or grades we make,
Or gains we stake –

We always say
Learning is Law.
Now look at us:
Mass geniuses!

-by George Elliott Clarke, O.C. O.N.S, PhD
Poet Laureate of Toronto