Metro Morning

Torontonian of the Year: Randell Adjei

Randell Adjei went from being arrested at 12 years old to being named his high school's valedictorian in the span of five years.

Founder of R.I.S.E., an outlet for emerging artists

Torontonian of the Year: Randell Adjei 1:10

Randell Adjei went from being arrested at 12 years old to being named his high school's valedictorian in the span of five years.

Now he is helping others who have artistic ambition but lack the necessary means to achieve their goals with R.I.S.E. Poetry — the acronym standing for Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere. Adjei says it gives young people a place to express themselves in a positive way. 

Adjei was nominated for Metro Morning's Torontonian Of The Year. Here's what he had to say on the program:

  • I, as a young person, I had a lot of anger in my heart. I didn't have a lot positive role models growing up. I had no access to opportunities.
  • Whenever people came into my community, they wanted to do things for me and not with me.
  • It was very challenging, because I feel like as a young person I always knew I had something inside of me.
  • I had teachers every year saying, "Randell, you have potential," but it was in a condescending way, as, "you have potential but."
  • I wasn't a bad kid. There are no bad kids, just misguided youth.
  • Having a mentor, someone to guide you and lead that potential in a certain way, the possibilities are endless.

Do you have someone you would call the Torontonian of the year? Nominate them here!

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