Migrating from Jamaica to Canada was quite a transition for me, especially integrating into the Canadian system and meeting the education criteria. Making the decision to go back to school in Canada to upgrade my academic skills, I can positively say enrolling at the Centre of Learning and Development (CL&D) has been a tremendous experience. I had enrolled at the centre in fall of last year. And the experience I have was that of a positive one. The staff and tutors are very helpful providing information and learning materials to students when needed. I like the diversity at the centre, interacting with people of different backgrounds and cultured, trying different foods, and learning about different languages. Throughout the program I have developed my writing skills, learned to communicate effectively and improved on my numeracy skills. From the communication classes I was able to use what I have learned confidently, participate in public speaking at the University of Toronto and the MTML Learners Conference. The goal and objective I have while at CL&D was to complete the level of academic upgrade the centre offered, and to continue the path to post secondary education. Now I can proudly say Thank you CL&D, for giving me the opportunity. I have completed the program and presently am enrolled in George Brown College, pursuing further studies leading to the career path that I have chosen.

Althea, Academic Skills Upgrading Graduate

Community Engagement is the decision to be an active part of the reality that surrounds us (family, friends, community, city or country). Every time I take the initiative to get out of individuality and start thinking about others I am directing my leadership. We cannot be isolated thinking that community engaged leadership is something that corresponds to the politicians or local officials.

Virginia Barquero, IWIP Graduate

It’s changed my life. Before I used to take my son to the school parenting centre and they had potlucks and I started my business – I would do the Ethiopian coffee ceremony for the potluck. For 2 years I did the coffee ceremony business but at the time I did not have a food handling certificate. After we came to the TD Centre, already Sureya knew about it and then at the TD Centre they start the first one, the food handling certificate class. After that, anything catering they have that came through Sureya, she would give it to us – an opportunity. You have confidence, otherwise without food handling certificate you don’t do anything. That’s why I’m happy with the TD Centre they have something – they have sewing class too, I enjoy sewing class. They have yoga class too, I enjoy it as well. It’s good, TD Centre, for us to change. You see different cultures, different food to taste it. They have workshops, I enjoy the workshops. Any workshop they have I get benefits. Sureya is good, she gives everybody equal chance to participate. We like the TD Centre.

Fozeya Mohamed, Regent Park resident involved with multiple groups at the TD Centre

I would urge people to seek higher knowledge and have a positive outlook in life so that your future in this world and the world to come would be much brighter. At CL&D you can increase your knowledge in so many different fields. Take the opportunity and join their programs and make a meaningful contribution to yourself and your society.

Gideon BuntyngAcademic Upgrading Graduate