MONTREAL, MARCH 27, 2012 – The English Montreal School Board (EMSB) will mark Adult Learner’s Week 2012, an annual celebration of lifelong learning, with a special event on Thursday, April 5 (10 a.m.) in the auditorium of Marymount Adult Centre (5785 Parkhaven Avenue in Cote St. Luc) starting at 10 a.m.
The guest speaker will be Frank O’Dea, co-founder of Second Cup, one of the largest chains of gourmet coffee and tea shops in Canada. But what makes Mr. O’Dea’s story so compelling is how he remarkably overcame a very difficult personal situation on his road to success. During his teens and early 20s, he was homeless and destitute on the streets of Toronto, and slept in 50-cent-a-night flophouses in one of the city’s toughest neighborhoods.
Through a great deal of determination, Mr. O’Dea managed to fight the many obstacles that he faced in his early life, and co-founded Second Cup shortly afterwards, as well as Proshred Security, a company that pioneered the onsite document destruction industry.
As a result of the harsh life he experienced as a homeless person, Mr. O’Dea co-founded Street Kids International, an organization geared towards helping homeless children in third world countries through education and self-reliance programs. He also helped to establish two other organizations: War Child (Canada), which gives assistance against the suffering and abuse of children in war torn countries; and the Canadian Landmine Foundation, which raises funds towards the efforts of dismantling landmines around the world.
The event will also award Certificates of Recognition to the following students attending the EMSB’s Adult Education and Vocational Services (AEVS) centres, in recognition of their dedication, motivation and commitment to their respective programs of study: Mario Ramon Vincent and Shagufta Jabeen (Galileo Adult Centre in Montreal North); Akalya Thanabalasingham and Natasha Borden (St. Laurent Adult Centre); Nelea Bargan, Socorro Bravo-Hernandez and Joel Elias (Marymount Adult Centre in Cote St. Luc); Philford Griffith and Kimberley Thibodeau (James Lyng Adult Education Centre in St. Henri); Jessica Sandy Desilets Benwell, Mario Polosa, Svetlana Kulyova and William Reyes Leyva, (Distant Education for All Learners – DEAL); Naeim Jebelli Bakht Ara, Karen Ann Keith, Aecy Pahayahay and Joy Goldberg (Shadd Business Centre in N.D.G.); Kyle Johnson (St. Pius X Adult Centre in Ahuntsic); and Hossam Moukhtar Akl and Tania Rahman (Laurier Macdonald Vocational Centre in St. Leonard). Also in attendance will be student representatives from all of the AEVS centres.