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Summer Students 2022 Spotlight

This summer, we’ve onboarded 7 youth leaders who have been helping us with CCNCTO’s day-to-day activities, as well as advance our programming and communications goals.

From community outreach, to planning events, to digital marketing and academic research, our Youth Leaders have gone above and beyond to serve our community! To celebrate their contributions, we asked them to tell us a bit about themselves, and what they wanted to share with the CCNCTO community. Here are their responses.

Hello! My name is Jen Yang (杨智欣)and I’m so excited to be working with CCNC this summer. I have just finished my studies at Western University majoring in music education (voice) and will be attending UofT’s OISE in the fall for a Masters in Child Study Education. I love reading and my favourite animals are seals. I was born in Canada, I live in Scarborough and my parents are from Beijing.

My favourite memory of my time at CCNCTO so far is all the precious moments with our Intergenerational group, 文艺小组。 I was able to connect to many members of the community who are passionate about art and singing. It is so important that we share knowledge from different generations and pass down our culture through stories and experiences. I really loved teaching singing to the group, and we still talk to each other in our wechat group daily. Another favourite memory I have is making dumplings with the members of the Intergenerational group, who I met for the first time in person recently. The dumplings were so yummy and it was so much fun catching up with everyone!

Greetings to everyone, my name is Xinlin Wu, I am a Grade 10 student going into Grade 11, and I am currently working a summer job at CCNCTO. I was born in a tiny suburban city called Enping(恩平), which is in Guangdong (广东), China(中国).

I immigrated to Canada at the age of 10. Not knowing the local language at the time, school life was difficult for me (especially being in a white-majority school). Those first three years were incredibly difficult, but I want you guys to know, that I have overcome them! So if you are currently going through what I had to go through, I wish you the best of luck and believe that you will overcome it too!

My goal for the future is simple. I want to make enough money to be able to retire by the age of 40 and also make a difference in this world. I know it sounds absurd, but I guess my real wish is just to finish everything that I have to deal with and just spend the rest of my time with the ones that I love.

Hi! My name is Eleanor (she/her). I was born in Kingston, Jamaica, but currently live, learn, and earn in Markham, Ontario on the traditional territories of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, and Wendat peoples. I'm currently in the process of finalizing my Major Research Paper for the completion of my Master of Arts degree at York University in the department of Gender, Feminist, and Women's Studies. I joined CCNCTO because I appreciated their social justice-oriented approach to community organizing and service provision.

While I have not been at CCNCTO long, I have felt incredibly welcomed by staff, volunteers, and members. My favourite memory so far at CCNCTO was our large community gathering, where staff and members cooperated to make dumplings. While it was chaotic at times, I’m extremely proud of how staff addressed emerging problems and supported one another. Additionally, I was excited to see how involved our members were in guiding this intergenerational cultural event and how empowered and determined they were to help shape the future of CCNCTO. Furthermore, while they have just started, I am thrilled to see how youth in our community are getting involved through our social justice training programs!

Hello, my name is Cindy Li, or 李心笛. I attend middlefield collegiate institute and will be going into grade twelve this september. I was born in Canada as my parents immigrated here (from Fuzhou) solely to avoid the one child policy in china. I am currently working at CCNCTO as a summer student and was introduced to this position by LWTA, a former program I attended.

An important moment in my education is coming to terms with failure. That not everything I do will be reciprocated with praise, especially if I don't put my all into it. During my first semester in high school, I had submitted a very rushed essay. To which my teacher responded by telling me how disappointed he was in me and expected much better. He said I could do much better, but I just need to try. At the time, the lecture was heartbreaking – as I had been exceeding in that course. But looking back, it really helped me as a person. I came to the long awaited realization that good grades are parallel with hard work, which should have been a given to me.

Hello everyone, my name is Zichen Xu, I am an 18-year-old Aries and ESFJ. My hometown is Lujiang County, Hefei, Anhui Province, China. I have a huge passion for Chinese culture and history, and I was fascinated by history documentaries and stories when I was very young. My favourite historical figures are Yue Fei and the King of Lanling, and my favourite dynasty is the Ming Dynasty (early period), Those historical role models encourage me to move forward step by step. Besides, I also like martial arts, singing, GO chess, basketball and poetry.

I think a fair and just society should be a state of "self-awareness and politeness" as Confucians said, "kindness, respectful and conscientious". No matter what ethnicity, gender, or status, people can live with morality, benevolence and respect for each other. Everyone can live and work in harmony and joy.

I have always been passionate about social justice topics, anti-racism, helping others and promoting Chinese culture, I think CCNCTO is a great platform for me to realize my vision, contribute my talents, meet new friends from the community and keep learning. I joined CCNCTO from the Summer 2020 Outreach Worker Recruitment Program. I look forward to working hand in hand with everyone in the community to create a prosperous, fair and brighter tomorrow.

Hello, I am Yi. I currently work as a summer student in CCNCTO. I am from Guangzhou China, I’ve been in Canada for seven years. I am so glad that I have a chance to get to know different people in communities.

Communities in Toronto are not monolithic, which makes the marginalized people much more difficult to access their basic rights. But what we’re doing right now like outreach is meaningful. I still remember that I called one of the personal support workers during the pandemic. She mentioned that the work and the manpower shortage made her exhausted. She heard that her colleagues around her are infected, which made her feel frightened every day. Our call made her feel that she was supported, cared for and motivated. This was one of the most memorable moments in CCNCTO.

Hi! My name is Helen, and I was born in Shenzhen, China, but raised in Scarborough, Ontario. I'm currently in my last year of New Media at Toronto Metropolitan University, and I joined CCNCTO because I saw how much my parents struggled to adjust to Canadian culture as a kid, and how it would have helped them to have a community like this one.

I have had a lot of good times at CCNCTO since arriving in June! The first one was when I got to collect answers from the community about their experiences with anti-Asian racism in GTA schools. It was very sombering, yet empowering to know that the people who shared their experiences got to have a safe space to do so. The other one was of my first in-person outreach session, where I had the privilege of listening to working migrants’ stories firsthand for the first time, and got a better sense of the injustices that surrounded their lives in Canada.

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