Winnipeg police Chief Devon Clunis gets rock-star greeting at Isaac Newton
"Growing up in the North End, we weren't rich or poor. We had everything we needed," Clunis told the students. "It feels so good to be back at this school, telling you if you have a dream, a desire and the right people around you, you can achieve that dream."
When Clunis and his parents immigrated to Canada from Jamaica in the 1970s, they settled on Selkirk Avenue in the North End, a low-income neighbourhood with a reputation for poverty and crime.
His talk with the students on Tuesday touched on the powerful influence teachers and education had on his upbringing and his path to becoming the head of Winnipeg's police force.
"With the right support, you can do anything you desire," he said. "I want young people to know this: It doesn't matter the colour of your skin, where you live, or where you're born — if you're fortunate to have supportive people around you, there is nothing you can't achieve."
He decided to pursue a career in law enforcement out of a desire to help others, he told the young crowd.
"I decided one day I wanted to be a police officer because I could set an example for other kids like me," he said. "I said I would use this job to really help young people."
Chief Clunis won the <a href="https://twitter.com/IsaacNewtonWSD">@IsaacNewtonWSD</a> Citizenship Award back in 1979. Success starts in school! <a href="http://t.co/IaFDGPFkYM">pic.twitter.com/IaFDGPFkYM</a>—@wpgpolice