New Social Innovation Hub gives Jane and Finch students a space to call their own

York University students from the Jane and Finch neighbourhood have been voicing a need for a place of their own on campus, to gather, build stronger connections with each other, foster mentorship, share resources and continue to build their leadership skills. That’s how the new Jane Finch Student Innovation Hub, designed for and by the students whose unique needs it serves, was born.

Launched on Jan. 30 at an event attended by faculty, staff, partners and members of the community, the hub will provide students with access to study groups, tutoring, information workshops and trips, all with an eye to helping them navigate the academic, social and administrative elements of university life.

Ross Building
Ross Building

The hub, located in the Centre for Public Sociology in Ross Building (N141) at Keele Campus, is a result of a partnership between York University Faculty Association’s (YUFA) Community Projects Committee, the Resource Centre for Public Sociology, Success Beyond Limits and the Department of Sociology at York. It builds on the work of Success Beyond Limits and York University – TD Community Engagement Centre’s First Year Network which focuses on supporting youth in their transition from high school to post-secondary education.

Lorna Erwin, Co-Chair of YUFA Community Projects, spearheaded the initiative to bring together the partners to collaborate to develop the hub. The new space will help students with a range of academic supports and help incoming students navigate university life.

“Through the support of our partners we finally have a space on campus that is dedicated to supporting the transition and leadership abilities of students form our local high schools,” said Talisha Ramsaroop, Community Project Coordinator with the TD Community Engagement Centre. “I’m excited to see the new opportunities and innovative ideas that will grow out of the space.”

Khadar Hilowle, is a forth-year history major at York University and the Jane Finch Innovation Hub Coordinator. He was motivated to take on a mentorship role because he remembers the challenges he faced as a new student. “It’s kind of like a pay it forward, because when I came to York University, my first year, I had a lot of help because my sisters came here beforehand, and I was able to tap into the resources that they had,” he said.

To learn more about getting involved with the Jane Finch Social Innovation Hub, contact the York University – TD Community Engagement Centre’s Community Projects coordinator Talisha Ramsaroop or Success Beyond Limits Executive Director Mohamed Ahmed.

A full calendar of events organized by the York University – TD Community Engagement Centre can be found on the centre’s website. Visit York’s community engagement website to discover the many ways York University engages and serves the community.