Drexler Reuben Ogbeifun
Drexler Ogbeifun is in Grade 10 at North Albion Collegiate. He lives in Rexdale with his mother, brother and sister. Drexler brings us the story of Zya Browne, who has lost friends and neighbours to gang violence in the neighbourhood. Instead of throwing up her hands, Zya decided to try to do something about it.
Tucked up in the northwest corner of Toronto, Rexdale is bounded by Islington Avenue to the east, Highway 427 to the west, Steeles Avenue to the north and Highway 401 to the south.
Rexdale is one of the city's most ethnically diverse areas, where you can find Indian grocery stores, African hair salons and Jamaican music stores standing side by side. That diversity is also reflected in the homes of Rexdale residents. Just four in 10 families speak English as their main language at home.
The community is also known for its large, low-income housing developments and high unemployment rate, which at 18% is three times the city's average. Gang violence and high profile shootings have scarred the neighbourhood and its reputation in recent years.
But the area is also bursting with musical creativity. Hip-hop artists Jelleestone and K'naan hail from Rexdale, as does the rock band, The Rheostatics.
Drexler Reuben Ogbeifun
Meet the Participants
- Christine Diep
- Christine Diep is a Grade 9 student who lives in the Jane-Finch neighbourhood.
- Danusha Jebanesan
- Danusha was drawn to the story of a classmate who won't allow challenges to get him down.
- Chayanika Sonnadara
- Chayanika joined this project because she has always wanted to be a journalist.
- Drexler Reuben Ogbeifun
- Drexler Ogbeifun brings us the story of Zya Browne, who has lost friends to gang violence.
- Atsede Tadesse
- Atsede is an ambitious and outgoing Grade 12 student at Cedarbrae Collegiate Institute.
- Deshawna Kitson
- Deshawna is happy in Rexdale because people are working hard to make it a safer place.
Three of our French-speaking students also prepared English versions of their reports. More reports in French are available at http://www.radio-canada.ca
- Nadine Tkatchevskia
- Nadine is a quadrilingual vegetarian who wants to do some good in the world.
- Alison Vicrobeck
- Alison has a passion for journalism. She is the editor-in-chief of a student newspaper.
- Charlotte Débois
- Charlotte was born in Switzerland. She loves music and making people happy.