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On Monday May 7th, IDI held its first Creative Minds Youth Contest in York Region, in partnership with the York Catholic District School Board. Azim Shamshiev, Executive Vice President of IDI opened the evening with words about the students’ submissions, which gave encouragement and inspiration for future generations. He mentioned that the first year in York Region was successful in terms of both quantity and quality of submissions. “As difficult as it is to engage empathy, it is essential to addressing many problems in today’s world” he said.

Elizabeth Crowe, Chair of the Trustee Board, gave opening remarks for the YCDSB. She remarked that the theme was important and thanked students and teachers for participating in the first year. Ms. Crowe also commented that the students had learned to reflect on themselves and put out a whole part of themselves in their submissions.

The keynote for the evening was given by Tony Snider, Director of Legal Services at York Region Children’s Aid Society. He began his address by explaining that it is essential for workers to empathize with the families that need help, especially since many things take on different tones when seen from the victim’s perspective. If case workers can’t connect on a personal level with people of these children, change is unlikely.

Mr. Snider explained that the Children’s Aid Society reformed its approach to include a differential one, in which each case is assessed individually, taking other perspectives into account and engaging with empathy. He remarked that when empathy is missing, the community suffers, but with more empathy they encounter less resistance from parents whose children they are trying to help. In this way, workers need to actively try to understand the cultural fabric and experiences of those in whose lives they intervene and it must be authentic.

Mr. Snider quoted Mohsin Hamid, “Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself.” If you can understand what you’d feel like with the threat of your child being taken away, he explained, then you can understand the parents better and become their partners instead.

 

POSTER CATEGORY FINALISTS

Award Student  School Grade Teacher
1st Victoria Novatska St. Theresa of Lisieux CHS 11 Nathan Shrubsole
2nd Neha Ali Father McGivney Catholic Academy 11 Holly Barrila
3rd Tara Naem Father McGivney Catholic Academy 11 Holly Barrila
Finalist Christine Goreal Jean Vanier CHS 10 Sara Lam
Finalist Dorothy Hong St. Robert CHS 10 Derek Chan
Finalist Heewon Ra St. Robert CHS 11 Derek Chan
Finalist Micah Dominic Manicad St. Robert CHS 11 Derek Chan

 

ESSAY CATEGORY FINALISTS

Award Student  School Grade Teacher
1st Audrey Wu St. Robert CHS 11 Derek Chan
2nd Alexandra Rivera Father McGivney Catholic Academy 11 Holly Barrila
3rd Malika Moloo Father McGivney Catholic Academy 11 Holly Barrila
Finalist Alexandra Schwarzenberg St. Robert CHS 11 Derek Chan
Finalist Amy Li St. Robert CHS 11 Derek Chan
Finalist Elaine Cui St. Robert CHS 11 Derek Chan
Finalist Tanisha Bassan St. Robert CHS 11 Stephanie Ferraro

 

VIDEO CATEGORY FINALISTS

Award Student  School Grade Teacher
1st Paige Marchetti St. Jean de Brebeuf CHS 10 Lara Gudelj
2nd Leon Han, Audrey Wu St. Robert CHS 11 Claudia Roccari
3rd Luci Hui, Chloe Tsui St. Robert CHS 11 Stephanie Ferraro
Finalist Wendi Lin, Jessica Sun St. Robert CHS 11 Claudia Roccari
Finalist Angela Cai, Virginia Li, Wendy Li St. Robert CHS 11 Stephanie Ferraro
Finalist  Tracy Wu, Christine Lee St. Robert CHS 11 Claudia Roccari
Finalist  Teddy Lee St. Robert CHS 11 Claudia Roccari
Finalist  Jeffrey Li, Adam Chen St. Robert CHS 11 Claudia Roccari
Finalist  Tracy Wu, Christine Lee St. Robert CHS 11 Claudia Roccari
Finalist  Faizan Khan Father McGivney Catholic Academy 11 Janelle Chan
Finalist  Nicole Nguyen, Colette Quinn St. Jean de Brebeuf CHS 11 Lara Gudelj