By RON FANFAIR
Choosing a post-secondary institution was quite a challenge for Corey Sherwood as he was finishing Grade 12 at St. Edmund Campion Secondary School in Brampton two years ago.
“It was a very stressful time for me back then,” he recalled.
The Wilfrid Laurier University Business Administration student used the taxing experience to co-found Student 2 Future, an online social platform that helps graduating high schoolers make informed decisions about their post-secondary education.
Volunteer mentors in Canada, the United States, Australia and England are available to engage high school students online about questions they have pertaining to their college or university education.
“It could be anything from what are the parties like and is it difficult making friends to what are the tuition costs and is the university a right fit for the program I want to pursue?” said Sherwood. “I wish I had this kind of service when I was trying to make my decision which university I should go to.”
Sherwood was one of the participants in this year’s eighth Youth in Motion Top-20 Under-20 national initiative that brings youth leaders to Toronto for an intensive four-day learning and skills building leadership summit.
The youth are exposed to seminars ranging from business etiquette and strategic branding to leveraging successful relationships. The program culminated in an awards breakfast last week that attracted national and international media coverage and was attended by some of Canada’s most respected business and non-profit leaders.
“This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and the real value for me was learning from the other youth leaders who came from all walks of life across Canada with different life experiences,” Sherwood said.
“Learning from the business professionals was also quite enriching. It was so incredible to meet vice-presidents and chief executive officers of companies in their own boardrooms and hear how they climbed the ladder to be at the top of their organizations and how they achieved professional success.”
A recipient of the 2009 Lincoln Alexander Award presented to young people between the ages of 16-25 for their work in trying to eliminate racial discrimination in the province, Sherwood – an only child – acknowledged the incredible support he has received from his parents in helping to shape his life.
His father, Anthony, is a fifth generation Canadian and one of this country’s most successful actors.
“My parents have been a huge influence, especially my dad who taught me humanitarian values,” said Sherwood, whose great, great uncle, Rev. William White, was the only Black commissioned officer in the British Armed Forces during World War 1. “It’s because of my father that I was able to organize a fundraiser at my university for Haiti that raised nearly $18,000.”
In 1997, entrepreneur and motivational speaker Akela Peoples founded Youth in Motion which has presented over 100 motivational career conferences and the Top-20 Under-20 national awards program designed to identify outstanding young Canadian leaders, further develop their skills and aptitudes and fuel their passions.