More than 120 Grade 9 students accompanied their parents, guardians, relatives, friends and volunteer hosts to the Second Student Centre on York University’s Keele Campus on Wednesday, Nov. 14, as part of the annual Take Our Kids To Work Day. The program, which was started by the Learning Partnership in 1994, was open to all University staff and faculty members.
The whirlwind day began at 9:30 a.m. with a tour of York’s Keele Campus. Here’s how two of the participating Grade 9 students felt about the tour, in their own words:
I enjoyed my visit at York University. I was not sure what to expect, having never visited a university before. I was very surprised at the size of the school. It is a large campus with many buildings – and a lot of walking. At first, I felt intimidated. There were many students, so we were broken up into groups to go on the campus tour. With so many buildings, it was difficult to remember all the names, but I don’t think I will ever forget the Lassonde School of Engineering and the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design building. The engineering building looks like something from a space movie. It is a beautifully designed building. I was fascinated to see the way students were studying – not with their heads down in books, but writing on the walls, being creative and not getting in trouble for writing on the walls. Our visit to the School of the Arts, Media Performance and Design was exciting for me. I am an arts major, so I wanted to hear everything about it. In addition, I was fortunate to get a tour of the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU). This was not a part of the campus tour, but my godmother took me because of my love for art, and for a brief moment I closed my eyes and saw my art hanging on the wall of the AGYU. When I first arrived on campus, I thought to myself: “There is no way I would be able to go to this school. Getting in would be one problem because I am sure there is a lot of competition. But it is also such a large school that if I did get in there, I would be sure to get lost every day, or at least be late to class every day.” However, after the campus tour, my visit to the art gallery, seeing all the great places to eat, meeting so many friendly people and realizing that the buildings are very easy to get to, I began to feel comfortable, my doubts turned into excitement and now I have a new goal in sight: the Art Gallery of York University!
– Mariana Gonsalves (goddaughter of Karen Traboulay, internal communications advisor, Communications and Public Affairs)
My experience at York University was exhilarating. When I went for a tour, everything looked futuristic and alive. I first went to the Lassonde School of Engineering’s Bergeron Centre where there were a lot of white boards to write ideas down. I went into a room where all of the 3D printers were, and a laser cutter. Then, I went into a room called the Sand Room, which has different types of machines that cut, drill and put together different things – that’s where I want to be! After that, I walked around to take a look at the campus. We were introduced to the Student Centre, which is like a mall, with so many different stores and places to read and study. Then I went to the Tait McKenzie Centre, which has a stadium, gymnasiums, studios, squash courts, swimming pools, tennis courts, grass fields and softball fields. It was almost time for my tour to end, so the last building I went to was Accolade East. There were so many theatres and rooms with music that you could hear from other rooms. One theatre can hold an average of 300 people! My day at York University was one of the best experiences. I’m for sure going to apply here for my future plans of mechanical engineering.
– Bianca Gravina (daughter of Grace Gravina, marketing officer, Communications and Public Affairs)
New this year, York partnered with the Neighbourhood Action Youth Employment Committee to host students from local high schools – Emery Collegiate Institute, Downsview Secondary School, C. W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute and James Cardinal McGuigan Catholic High School – who didn’t have a parent or guardian to accompany to work. The participating students were able to explore York’s Keele Campus and gain valuable exposure to a number of potential educational and career paths available to them.
After the campus tour, the students and their hosts gathered in the Second Student Centre’s Convention Centre for a complimentary pizza lunch, with closing remarks by Joanne Cary, interim assistant vice-president of human resources and chief HR officer. She spoke about resiliency, perseverance and sustainability, and about the many unique opportunities for both students and staff at York.
After lunch, the smiling students headed out with full bellies, York-branded T-shirts and an extra-special, eco-friendly surprise: a set of reusable, stainless-steel straws and a straw-cleaning brush, generously donated by York’s Licensing Program to help reduce one-time-use plastic waste.
The Grade 9ers then accompanied their adult chaperones to work for the remainder of the day.
Take Our Kids To Work Day at York University is sponsored by the Division of the Vice-President, Finance and Administration. For more information about the annual event, visit vpfa.info.yorku.ca/take-our-kids-to-work-day.