Last Saturday, I was invited to be the master of ceremonies at the African Canadian Development and Protection Network’s (ACDPN) annual career fair and mentorship initiative, in collaboration with McGill University.
It’s an event that introduces youth from the English-speaking Black community to professionals in the health and social services fields.
Executive director of the ACDPN, Tania Callendar explains its main objective as been an opportunity for our youth to network with professionals from our community that have succeeded in establishing themselves in the field. “Seeing people that look like them in these positions makes it more realistic and attainable… that they too can achieve the same.”
Why emphasize health and social services I asked?
“Simply because there is a lack of Anglo Blacks in these areas. As a result many will shy away from engaging and seeking assistance they may need.”
I was very impressed by the attendance, seeing a room full of teenagers seeking information on post-secondary options.
Our youth are not often portrayed in a positive light, something I believe to be a misrepresentation. Personally, what I witnessed gave me a great sense of pride and hope for the future of those young people. They invested their free time to a cause aimed at self-improvement.
Here’s a look inside the ACDPN and McGill University Career Fair and Mentorship program event.
Upon arrival the teens registered, shortly after they visited different kiosks with professionals waiting to answer their questions.
Topics like school requirements, salary, career obstacles and much more were addressed. A special station was set up that helped guide some undecided students towards unexplored paths, based on a series of questions they were asked.
Not everyone attending may find one of the careers interesting on that day, but at least it gets them thinking about life after high school.
I was shocked to hear from Callendar that a significant number of our Black teens have little or no aspirations of going further after graduating secondary school, which just won’t cut it in this digital age, with society’s increasing dependence on technology.
University and CEGEP may not be the route for everyone, but post-secondary training in some area of expertise is crucial.
The African Canadian Development and Protection Network or ACDPN for short, work tirelessly to provide opportunities and improve the quality of living for English-speaking Black families, seniors and the youth.
This career fair and mentorship collaboration with McGill University is a way of motivating young Blacks to aspire and achieve.
I encourage you all to visit their Facebook page and website for more information they offer several services to assist our community. Do not hesitate to inquire, they are here for you.
visit www.acdpn.org or www.facebook.com/ACDPN/