Session 24- Mental Health Awareness

This week (April 21) the focus of the Diva Girls group was on mental health. I did the facilitation of the workshop. We started off with a little discussion on what mental health is and then we watched a few videos. Then we organized a debate panel on what causes mental health issues.

Afterwards we played a game which involved soft balls being thrown at each other. The goal was to catch the balls and prevent them from dropping to the floor. This was to demonstrate that you can only handle so many things at once before dropping them and that’s what happens when you have stress.

Following the break the girls did a little quiz on myths and facts on mental health statements. A lot of the girls did perfect on the quiz and this showed that they knew the most basic facts and myths about mental health.

The girls then ended the session with a little breathing exercise to reduce stress and anxiety

Lysandra Lobo

Youth and The Law Media Project

Over the past two months dedicated staff from Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre has been working with young people at John Polanyi Collegiate Institute (JPCI), a Toronto District public school located in the Lawrence Heights area, to run a 12 week after-school project. The project is dedicated to educating young people about the law and was funded by the Ontario Law Foundation. 15 high school aged youth registered in the program. Here is a summary of the project to date.

The first session began on February 16th with the facilitators, Adonis Huggins and Patrick Reynolds, introducing themselves and finding out more about the program participants through name games and ice breakers. This was followed by a discussion about the goals and objectives of the program and finally an exercise to determine how knowledgeable the youth were about difference between Civic Law and Criminal Law. Most of the youth had very little understanding of the difference between Civic and Criminal law.


This week, the Diva Girls finally got to present their creative poem writing skills in their final showcase!

The girls came in early to prepare and perfect their poems for performing. They even had stage names prepared for themselves which were a nice personal touch for all the Divas.

Before the showcase, the girls did a circle rock session to calm them down and releases some of the nervousness but a lot of them were ready to hit the stage.

At the showcase, the event kicked off with a video produced by Tusma Sulieman about Molem fashion and Islamophobia. The video was funded by the In-spirit Foundation and is scheduled to be broadcast on Regent Park TV. The screening was followed by a Q and A with Tusma about the film. Next up the two facilitators performed inspiring pieces setting the stage for the Divas. The Divas did not disappoint. The Divas performed their spoken word pieces beautifully and were not intimidated by the full house. Many of the spoken word pieces had to do …

Youth Leadership Expo 2017

On April 4, 2017, Tavianne and Deondre represented Regent Park Focus at the Rotary Youth Leadership Expo.  The Youth Leadership Expo is an annual event designed to
 inspire youth to become active volunteers and leaders in their community through  leadership building activities

At the expo, youth walked around and engaged in conversations with presenters on how to  become active participants in their community. We handed out brochures and spoke with youth about the opportunities Regent Park Focus offers to students; hosting their own radio show, hosting their own television show or they can submit an article that they are passionate about for the magazine, and their participation can lead to community  volunteer hours. The event was amazing and the experience was well worth attending.

By:  Tavianne Jackson

Session 20- Getting Ready for the Showcase

This week the Diva girls continued to prepare for their final showcase performance.

They continued to work on their poems and finalized them for their performance as next week would be dress rehearsal. The girls then went over some tips on how to perform on stage and they also did a word memory game to help them work on remembering their poetry.

The rest of the session was spent working on video recordings and finishing up poems.

By: Lysandra Lobo

Catch da Flava - LGBTQ

Hello its Deondre from Catch Da Flava on Radio Regent,

Oon Monday March 20th 2017, Jacob, Tavianne and myself hosted 20 minute radio show on the LGBTQ community, with Jordyn Samuels. We discussed some of the work Jordyn is currently doing with (SOY) , along with some of the stigma and fear for youth who come out as Gay. Interviewing Jordyn really opened my eyes to a different perspective of the LGBTQ community as well giving some great insight on what is like being an activist for the LGBTQ community. Tune in for our next radio show that will discuss a little bit about Black Lives Matter.

March Break Program 2017

If you ask me how was my March Break I will tell you that it was boring, except for around 1pm to 5pm everyday, when I got a chance to experience my dream job. The first day I came to Regent Park Focus, I was overwhelm by how friendly, enthusiastic and professional everyone was. Along with that I felt a little bit shy because I had so little experience in any of the roles but everyone was so nice and encouraging. Monday, and Tuesday, I got to be in the studio and learned about the camera operation, the lighting, the audio, and the editing.

Then Wednesday, the first day of filming, it was the only “break” of the week thanks to our executive director’s lateness with all the props. At that point, I can’t believe that we were actually filming a video, it was all like a dream to me. Then we took turns to act and film the rest until we realized that it was way too late. The next day was similar till the end of the week. Actually being in the studio film, I picked up a lot of tips and trick…