Access to Education Powers Change

Growing up we had a very unstable
environment just because of the fact that we were constantly moving,
there were a lot of financial instabilities, a lot of conflicts occurring at home. I’m a grade 9 dropout. I spent several years as a street kid and joined the forces
when I was 17. I didn’t understand how life worked
outside of the military. Many of the things
we take for granted in our lives I did not have those basic skills.
It was a very, very difficult time in my life. Being at Ryerson was
the first time I felt that I belonged. This is because of the incredible
community that is here, the amazing supports
that were available. The number one thing I would want to do
is to be able to pay it forward because had it not been for
all the people and the support that I had,
I wouldn’t be here today. Access to education,
especially around Ryerson, seems to be one of the driving
forces at the university. I think that Canadian society would benefit
from having more places like Ryerson. Places that really understand the
challenges and the barriers, the real systemic barriers, that prevent individuals
from getting an education. If we make too many barriers then we’re really closing ourselves off
to a whole population of people who can contribute so much
through university education. By having a diversity of opinions inside a classroom, by having a diversity of views
and diversity of people inside a university, it makes our education much richer. In doing that, I think that is a
powerful engine of social change.

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