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Showing posts from May, 2018

Music Production - May 2018

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Nothing makes an instructor happier than students coming in to do work all on their own - which has been happening more and more at Regent Park Focus's music production program.


Students have been working on bed tracks for their friends to try rapping over and some students have even started to record themselves rapping in our class! No finished projects yet - perfectionism is every artist's greatest motivator and hurdle.

Catch da Flava Radio - Kicking and Screaming

For this episode of Health Talks Radio, host Travis chatted with Judy about the hilarious sports comedy “Kicking and Screaming” starring Will Ferrell. Centred around the dysfunctional grown adult Phil Weston and his traumatic relationship to his father who always wants to “win”, Phil never feels adequate enough living under the shadow of his father’s enormous ego. In constant competition, Phil’s first son is born the same day his father has another child, and who then grow up to be on the same soccer team coached by Phil’s father. His son is always benched, while Phil’s brother always plays in the games, until his son is traded for the gang of misfit soccer team The Tigers. Eventually, Phil is cast as their coach and he is directly in competition with his father, feeling an urge to prove himself once more. Falling from grace, losing his compassionate and kind nature and adopting a competitive streak full of anger and aggression toward everyone including his son, and inexplicably d…

Divas Girls Group - Resiliency Session

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Divas Session May 18, 2018
Resiliency Session
This week’s session was great! Chris Leonard, a former community worker from Regent Park came back again to facilitate a resiliency workshop. When I contacted Chris for another session she was happy as it provided another opportunity for her to give back to the youth and the Regent Park community.  The session began with a check-in around the day or setbacks in the week. Some girls said they had a good day, some said they didn’t have a good day, and one girl said she had a stressful week at school. Chris mentioned to the girls that in life things and stuff will happen which will set them back, however if they view the experience in a positive light they can overcome it; eg .you failed the test, no problem, it’s one test, you’ll overcome it – resilient! Another example is:you know something isn’t right and you need help; so you reach out to get the help you need –resilient! 




Chris also mentioned that as human beings we can be judgmental…

Powerful X Nature - Affordable Housing in Toronto

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Date: May 28, 2017
Hosts : Jeneace & Moya
Topic : Affordable Housing


This week, Moya and Jeneace talked about the importance of Affordable Housing with our guests Iris and Sofia from Jessie’s Housing Program and Stephanie, a young mother and Jessie’s participant.

In Toronto, 46% of tenants spend more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities while almost 25% spend more than 50% of their income on rent and utilities. Moya and Jeneace asked Iris and Sofia to break down why rent keeps rising in Toronto, the ways government controls rent increases and what happens when people get displaced from their homes because they can’t afford their rent. We talked about why housing affordability is critical not only because everyone deserves safe, affordable housing but because housing affordability means people don’t have to skip out on groceries for a week because they don’t have enough to pay rent and buy food. The team also dove into the importance and crisis in subsidized h…

Catch da Flava Radio - The Digital World and its Effects on Mental Health

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For this episode of Health Talks Youth Radio, Diamond hosts our panel discussion about how connected we’ve become in this digital world, and how it takes a toll on our mental health. Experts call sitting the new smoking, as people have become addicted to nothing- and especially through hours and hour of nothing. Talking about how we’ve become a culture of social media consumers, we see how youth are now wasting a lot of time consuming meme after meme the same way we used to consume TV show after TV show. Ranging from twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, the three big social media platforms, they chat a lot about how it has become such a norm and fixture in our ordinary lives.



Diamond asked a few questions of our youth panel including if they thought social media can affect our mental health and how, how much is too much social media usage, how has the acceleration of the internet affected social media consumption, what are some warnings about social media addiction, and their pe…

Catch da Flava Radio - Emoji Health

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For our May 29th episode of Catch da Flava Youth Radio, we had host Diamond sit down with the bubbly, fun, and charming Tatiana Prisiajny chatting about her role at Emoji Health and what the new app does to change and innovate the healthcare landscape. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology that utilizes chatbots, this new app will give out information to those who engage with it when it comes to health related issues. Whether you have questions about sexual health, depression, diabetes, exercise, and more, it has something fun and informative to share for youth looking for health tips online, and especially through social media. This elevates the roles of the internet in contributing to public health by utilizing social media which is only starting to see its full potential. The chatbot works on Facebook and KIK and targets a youth audience by utilizing language they can understand- and especially emojis.


Tatiana talks about the way this new app changes our understand…

Catch da Flava Radio - A League of Our Own

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For our May 24th episode of Health Talks Youth Radio, host Travis chatted with us about the movie “A League of Our Own”. Set during the second world war, the movie showcases a feisty and indomitable league of female baseball players that were slated to play in the major leagues as men were shipped of to war. Filling in the void, the women prove themselves to be just as capable, just as talented, and just as dramatic. Tension flares between the two sisters who come to the league together, Dottie and Kit, with younger sister Kit resentful that she always lives in the shadows of her sister’s effortless excellence. Finally with an opportunity to prove herself, she does whatever it takes to remove herself from the limelight of her sister’s success. Employing women from different cultural backgrounds from the city to the country, and a dysfunctional but endearing former baseball player turned coach, the movie shows that women have a place in the history of major league sports.



In c…

Catch da Flava Radio - Indigenous Cultural Awareness

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For this edition of Health Talks Youth Radio, host Diamond chatted about the importance of Indigenous Cultural Awareness with our youth panel. In introducing the topic, Diamond mentions that a person’s cultural background has a powerful influence on their personal development because as they interact and communicate with others, they draw from their cultural beliefs and values learned from birth. This is especially important to understand the different cultural perspectives people are coming from, especially the Indigenous community. According to a recent statistic, the number of the Indigenous population is estimated to rise to between 1.7 million and 2.2 million by 2031, or between 4.0% and 5.3% of the total population. With the Indigenous community ranging into the millions, chances are we will meet at least one Indigenous person in our life, which means it’s worthwhile to understand where they are coming from, their social-psychological background, so we can better commun…

Catch da Flava Radio - Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (NCCT)

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For our May 22nd episode of Catch da Flava Youth Radio, host Travis invited a very animated, fun guest from the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, Edward Cyr. Starting with assisting members of the NCCT with housing concerns, he gradually moved to different departments and now works with youth for the organization. He chatted with us about how NCCT was created as an alternative outlet for the Indigenous community who did not find a lot of community meeting space that were not Christian and consequently places they couldn’t identify with. Now gradually becoming bigger and better, it serves a huge community and even invites people who don’t identify as Indigenous.
In discussing the various programs available at the centre, Edward chatted with Travis about the Okichitaw Indigenous Martial Arts Program and specifies how this is a different type of martial arts, specific to the Indigenous community. Most of what we know of martial arts originates from China and stars like Jacky Chan and Br…

Catch da Flava Radio - The Mighty Ducks

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For this episode of Health Talks Youth Radio, host Travis walked us through a discussion on the Disney favourite “The Mighty Ducks”. About a group of kids in a local community who love to play hockey, they are the underdogs as they don’t find a lot of success in their team. Their last coach passed away and even when he was alive, he wasn't helping them out all that much. They since played for fun and never did anything serious. One day, a limousine pulls up where the kids are playing and stops all of them instantly. Out steps a man in a suit and a long trench coat, who tells them that his name is Gordon Bombay and he's the new coach. He's going through some issues at work and was told by his boss that he has to give back to the community and learn about teamwork- plus he hates kids. Through the interaction with the new coach and the untamed team, we see how both sides transform from the experience.


Discussing the movie, we wonder if Gordon has what it takes to l…

Catch da Flava Radio - Drug Use

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For our May 15th episode of Catch da Flava Youth Radio, we chatted about drug use and how we have either experienced or not experienced it. In citing popular public service announcements, we heard about the ways in which drug awareness was brought to the attention to the public, airing the popular PSA featuring Rachael Leigh Cook where she takes an egg as an example of one’s brain and smashing it to show the effects of drug use on the egg. Kylie talked about her lack of experience with drugs, not willing to use any or seeing any possible desire to want to use any. Kylie has stated she knows very little about drugs and in fact only really knows about marijuana, even commenting that she recognizes the smell because it is so often in her school, although she doesn’t smoke marijuana herself.



When talking about his personal experience in drugs, Travis agrees he has never really experimented with drugs like Kylie but has mentioned he has occasionally used recreational drugs but only …

Catch da Flava Radio - Youth Panel on Drugs

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For this episode of Health Talks Radio, we interviewed some youth participants about their experience with drugs. We asked them five questions, which were about what they knew about recreational drugs, if they or someone they knew used them, would they consider using them, if they used them then why, and what new drugs have they heard about. Overall, the youth participants didn’t seem to have much knowledge or information when it comes to drug use and didn’t seem to have much of an interest in participating in drug use. The most popular recreational drug the youth knew about was marijuana. Some just knew that many people use it, the smell and use of it, but one youth participant claims it is not a recreational drug but an “herb” because it comes from a plant, so is more natural than most recreational drugs and is often utilized for medical purposes.


The youth participants had interesting responses to the questions, but most didn’t seem to have any special interest in pursuin…

Divas Girls Group - Self-Defense Session

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Divas Session
May 11, 2018
Self-Defense Session

The girls had a great session this week! Reverend Deb Rapport and Sarah Smith, both self- defense instructors facilitated a session on self-defense. It was not Deb’s first time at Regent Park Focus. Around this time 3 years ago she facilitated a session, and when I contacted her for another session she was happy for the opportunity to come back again to teach self-defense to the girls.

The session began with an interactive and engaging discussion around self-defense. Most of the girls knew what self-defense was. One source stated that self-defense is a countermeasure that involves defending the health and well-being of oneself from harm. Shortly after the discussion, Deb and Sarah teamed up to show the girls some basic skills to use if/when they have to defend themselves. The girls were then encouraged to practice the skills on each other. Deb and Sarah went around the room and ensured that the girls had the skills down. The…

3D Modeling Workshops - 3D Bottles and Animation

Last week the 2nd of May, The great students started modeling individual bottles.

 On 9th May 2018 we will dive into basic Animation with the bouncing ball in focus and a continuation of our bottle modelling! - Jude

Catch da Flava Radio - Power of Storytelling

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For this edition of Health Talks Radio, we celebrated Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week in Ontario by talking about the power of storytelling when it comes to dealing with issues of mental health. Host Diamond introduced the topic and welcomed our youth panelists to discuss the issues and the power of storytelling when it comes to dealing with our personal mental health concerns. Talking to our panelists, it’s clear they have dealt with their own struggles and that being able to talk about it has helped heal them. One of our panelists discussed that when she was young, she was diagnosed with bipolar and her parents immediately warned her not to discuss the diagnosis, to keep it quiet from everyone to which she felt as if she “had to wear a mask” around everyone, not being able to share her personal narrative. Another panelist discussed how talking about their personal journey has helped them heal and accept themselves as all they are. Identifying as gay, when they finally share…

Catch da Flava Radio - Children's Mental Health Awareness Week

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For the May 8th edition of Catch da Flava Youth Radio, we celebrated Children’s Mental Health Week as host Diamond sat down with Mike Stroh who is the creator of organization the mental health awareness organization “Starts With Me”. Discussing the significance of storytelling when it comes to issues of mental health, Mike’s organization looks to share personal stories of mental health struggles and triumph to help others heal. In his personal journey of development, Mike smoked marijuana almost everyday from age thirteen all the way to thirty, having no idea he was causing himself severe damage because there were rarely any stories shared about the negative side effects of substance use. Consequently, Mike’s been motivated to become a motivational speaker to talk about his personal journey in understanding what he went through in hopes others can find themselves in his tale and be motivated themselves to share their tale. In understanding the power of storytelling, Mike believes tha…

Powerful X Nature - Affordable Childcare In Ontario

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Date: May 7 th , 2018

Hosts : Jeance & Seymouria

Guests : Professor Gordon Cleveland (UTSC); Laural Rothman (Ontario Coalition for Better Childcare)


Topic : Affordable Childcare

With the Ontario provincial election drawing closer, the Powerful by Nature team covered a topic close to our hearts : Affordable Childcare. Our hosts Seymouria and Jeneace led a powerful conversation with special guests Professor Gordon Cleveland, whose research focuses on the economics of early childhood and childcare policy, and Laurel Rothman from the Ontario Coalition for Better Childcare. Breaking down everything from the high costs of childcare in Ontario and Toronto to the three provincial party childcare platforms, our two guests gave us a roadmap for making childcare affordable and accessible for all, and (spoiler alert) if there was governmental will, there would be a way! Listen to this very special episode below and, if affordable childcare matters to you, remember to vote …

Catch da Flava - Karate Kid

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For our May 3rd edition of Health Talks Youth Radio, host Travis introduced our show by discussing the movie we would explore, which is the new 2010 Karate Kid starring Jayden Smith, son of the famous Will Smith, and the famous martial artist Jacky Chan. Set in China, the movie explores how a young boy who recently lost his father travels with his mother to China after the economic downturn in Detroit makes it too difficult to live in their homeland. Upon arriving to China, young Dre (played by Jayden Smith) finds himself a target of a group of young bullies, facing racism and discrimination. Discovering a love of martial arts, he finds that his bullies practice is and soon employs the assistance of the maintenance worker in his building who has hidden talents in martial arts (played by Jackie Chan). In discovering his inner strength, Dre overcomes his inner demons and outer demons and wins the respect and regard of his adversaries and finds a new home in China. Discussing thi…

Catch da Flava - Indigenous Communities Dealing with Mental Health

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For this edition of Health Talks Radio, we extended our conversation about the Indigenous community and discussed issues on how to support our Indigenous community in the struggles they face that range from emotional, psychological, and even around food scarcity and water supplies. Hosted by Gisela, we talked about how the Indigenous community continues to face struggles, such as the issue with water scarcity. In many reserves, the Indigenous community still has to rely on bringing in bottled water for everyday use including cooking, cleaning, drinking, and bathing. Water is so polluted and undrinkable and unhealthy for the community that they have to search outward for their solution. Growing up in these conditions, it would be easy for youth to think that this is normal and not realize that the resources are not as adequate as most developed communities, affecting their emotional and psychological health.

Other topics we explored is the ways in which the Indigenous community has ex…

Catch da Flava - Youth Wellness Navigators TCFNCC

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For our May 1st show of Catch da Flava Youth Radio, we had host Travis sit down and chat with the youth wellness navigators from Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre, Tasunke Sugar and Chantal McGregor. They talked to Travis about all the amazing youth services available at Toronto Council Fire. An organization that serves the general population, it specializes in developing services for the Indigenous community, but opens its doors to all. In discussing youth related services, they chatted about the Little Embers program, the Akwe:go program, and the Wasa-Nabin program. Each program promotes youth health and wellness, specializing in providing good nutrition to youth and focuses on different age groups. Evolving from its beginnings as a small meet up of members of the Indigenous community, it evolved into an organization with its own space and location, the closest to Regent Park Focus being at 439 Dundas Street East.

Tasunke and Chantal also chatted about the amazing project…