“Don’t let your neighbourhoods or where you come from define you,” broadcaster Dwight Drummond told students at the Toronto Police Service and the Chief’s Black Community Consultative Committee Black History Month event.
He emerged from public housing in the Lawrence Heights community to become a public broadcaster who, this week, won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Local Newscast.
“I fit the stereotype growing up as a young black man living in a single-parent home in public housing with dreams of becoming a rapper or professional basketball player,” he said, at the assembly of students at Lord Dufferin Jr. & Sr. Public School on Feb. 27. “…I had a lot of people around me that were making bad choices and when you come down to it, life really is about choices.”
A former crime reporter, Drummond told the young people the best choice he made was not to get caught up in the world of guns, gangs and drugs.
He urged them to get a post-secondary education and become useful citizens.
“Your lives hold the potential to achieve what your talents would allow,” he said. “By applying yourself, you can make the seemingly impossible probable. It’s important that you dream big and not be afraid of failure.”
Several TPS officers, including Staff Sergeant Ron Boyce, Sergeant Bassey Osagie, Constables Renato Valdez, Jamshid Habibullah, Patty Retsinas and Ed Parkes, a Neighbourhood Officer in 51 Division, joined Drummond in reading black history stories to students.