|LAURIER MACDONALD MEETS THE NEIGHBOURS|
MONTREAL, FEBRUARY 10, 2016 – In a project that would make Mister Rogers proud, Grade 11 students at Laurier Macdonald High School in St. Leonard spent time in their neighbourhood recently, visiting local businesses and getting to know their owners and the staff.
The initiative was spearheaded by the school’s Community Learning Centre (CLC) along with George Kalliabetsos’ Creative Writing class, with the goal of making connections with the individuals and businesses that the students and their families frequent on a daily basis.
Groups of students visited St-Hubert Express, Boucherie Mimmo, Dépanneur 7 Jours, Thai Express, IGA, Tim Horton’s and Pizzeria Orsini. Along with getting to know their neighbours, they also received some insight into what it takes to run a successful business.
“To achieve anything in life, you need perseverance,” said Mr. Jean Faille, owner of the Tim Horton’s on Jean Talon East.
The students were repeatedly told that often one does not end up doing what he or she thought they would be doing. Students were told that jobs change as well as career paths and opportunities often take them away from where they started, but with perseverance and the enthusiasm to do their best every step of the way; they will build experience and knowledge.
A one-time bus boy now manages the St-Hubert Express with a plan to own his own franchise in five years.
They also learned that time management is critical and sometimes they will have to juggle several obligations to climb to the top, like what Connie Long is presently doing. Long co-manages a Thai Express with her husband, works as a night nurse part-time, goes to school full-time and is also raising her two young children.
Through these opportunities to meet, connections were made and relationships initiated. Students can now further appreciate that everybody, even that person serving them behind the cash during lunchtime, has an interesting story to tell.
Michael J. Cohen