For the past three years, DECA has presented a $2,000 Young Leader Scholarship to a high school student entering post-secondary who is involved in supporting/improving their communities. It is with great pleasure that we introduce to you our DECA 2018 scholarship recipient, Tafriha Islam, who was a Grade 12 student at Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute.
This incredible young woman has tutored young girls in her Regent Park Community since she was in Grade 9. She is dedicated to building a safe and healthy community and is always the first one to sign up for volunteering in different community programs and events such as Regent Park Film Festival, Sister2Sister, Regent Park Youth Ambassador, Art Heart, Artscape, and Sunday in the Park.
Tafriha created a Bengali school with her parents in the basement of their apartment for children ages 4-12 where her mother and her taught the young students how to read and write in Bengali. During this time, she also created a henna business to fundraise for Syrian refugees. Last summer she worked with CultureLink Settlement Community Centre to develop, write, and perform an original play about shifting cultural identities, entitled Unsettled. This group of young leaders/performers tackled many complex issues faced by many immigrant families and received many high praises from the community.
Drum roll please…. congratulations Tafriha! And thank you for sharing your thoughts, concerns and future plans with us:
What do you like most about the Danforth East community?
I love that this community always makes an effort to give back. There are so many support systems for the youth in our community. I have never seen such raw thoughtfulness in any community like ours.
I also love how our community has many small businesses to enjoy, and always holds the best events! There truly is never a dull moment.
What concerns you most about the future in our neighbourhood?
After the tragic event that occured recently, my biggest concern about our community is safety. As a community, I think it is important that we all take preventative measures to keep this community violence free. Even though no place is immune to crime, team work with our neigbours can really make a difference to minimize it. We should also continue to support each other in times of hardship and stay strong.
How are you spending the summer?
This summer I dipped my toes into the business world. I am currently working at a marketing and advertisement agency called “Bob’s Your Uncle” as an accounts intern. Some of our clients include IDC, Popeyes, BOSCH, and many more. I am learning new things everyday and this experience is helping me gain a lot of soft skills.
How are you feeling about the upcoming school year?
I’m feeling a mix of emotions for the upcoming year. I’m attending Schulich School of Business at York University. Coming from a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) background, I’m very excited to learn more about business. Though I am nervous for the transition from High School to University, I am lucky to have an amazing support system. Overall, I have an overwhelming feeling of happiness for this amazing journey ahead.
Scholarship presentation at the market
We also invite you to meet Tafriha this Thursday at the Farmers’ Market. Come cheer her on as she officially receives the DECA scholarship.
Thanks to everyone who danced the night away with us at the DECA Retro Dance Party in May. You helped to support this incredible young leader’s post secondary education!