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HAL YES! (Halton Youth for Equity and Student Voice) Showcase Event 

Milton – On Thursday, May 24th high school students from three Halton District schools came together in Milton, to celebrate the end of the HAL YES! Program.

“This event marks the culmination of a year-long pilot project – funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. It has been an extraordinary project, which has highlighted the voices, insights and experiences of our youth participants. We have worked with over 50 extraordinary youth in three schools to bring this project to life,” said Sita Jayaraman, Director- Community Services, Indus Community Services.

The HAL YES! program is an opportunity for students in grade 9-11 in Halton schools to get involved and make a difference in their community. The aim of the program is to enhance youth participants’ confidence and foster critical self-reflection on all aspects of their unique identity while building their leadership skills to create a climate of inclusion and respect for all members of their student community and beyond.

Earlier in the day, students got a chance to engage in a meet-and-greet with each other, share their experiences and hear from Dwayne Morgan, spoken word artist and motivational speaker.

“We need to work through our youth, our students, to create better equitable opportunities for them so that each one can reach their full potential,” said Robert Eatough, Superintendent of Education, in his opening address.

Students showcased their talent through a variety of song, dance, poetry, art displays and spoken word.

The funding for this program was provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), which is an agency of the Government of Ontario. Indus Community Services received a year-long, $71,900 Seed grant last June to help pilot this program. Both Indira Naidoo-Harris and Monty Fidda, an OTF volunteer, were on hand to hear about the difference this program has made.

“OTF is proud that we were able to fund this program and I offer my congratulations to all the parties involved in this program,” said  Monty Fidda, OTF.

In her closing remarks, Leena Halees, Project Coordinator and HAL YES! Program Facilitator, thanked all the partners for their involvement.

“This is what Black excellence…Muslim excellence…student excellence looks like! Our future is in good hands!”