Thanks to the ROMCAN (ROM’s Community Access Network) program, one which CultureLink is a partner of, a group of 20 high school students from various schools had the great opportunity to visit the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) on a school PD Day, on Friday 11, October 2019.
It is not very often newcomer youth get a chance to buy tickets and visit these important and educational sites. They were very grateful for the invitation and the opportunity to explore the world’s history and cultures showcased at the museum.
The day was also an orientation of sorts to the big city culture and life on Bloor Street downtown. The group spent some time peeking through store window displays of the Louis Vuitton, Prada, J Crew and other luxury boutiques and high fashion Jewellery stores, which stunned them. Getting a glimpse into the haute couture lifestyle of the rich and famous was a unique experience for them. Most had never been to that part of the city. They were excited to spot a McDonalds in the middle of it all, a familiar spot. The whole group rushed in to buy a drink and cool down a bit.
Newcomer high school students are some of the most supercharged, inquisitive and hardworking group of youth in schools and in the community. They are innocent, fun to be with and most deserving kids. Besides school, many are either working part-time or supporting parents by taking care of their younger siblings at home. Being new and without the guidance, support and mentorship they need at this stage in their new lives also makes them vulnerable. Settlement workers in schools (SWIS) play a great role in filling that gap.