Newcomer Student Leadership Conference


With the 2018-2019 school year comes a brand new pastoral plan, “Rooted in Christ: We Belong, We Believe, We Become.” This conference draws its theme from year of the pastoral plan, “We Belong.” This student leadership conference focuses on making sure our newest members of our TCDSB family know that they all belong.

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“This conference is about making sure we all belong” – Rory McGuckin

To begin the morning, Student Trustees Joel Ndongmi and Taylor Dallin welcomed the students to the CEC. CSLIT Social Affairs Director Dylan Luke read our land acknowledgment which was followed by the singing of, Oh Canada. Members of the religion team (Lisa Malcolm and Susan Hookong-Taylor) then lead the group and prayer before TCDSB Director Rory McGuckin gave an official board welcome.

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This year’s student keynote speaker was Mijung Kim who is CSLIT’s Social Justice Director. Being an international student, Mijung spoke about her transition to Canada. Divine Ilade and Lance Casajes, 2 other newcomer students also shared their stories and all the challenges that came with moving overseas. Their experiences highlighted the struggles of newcomer students, and opened our eyes to the importance of good hospitality.

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Community relations office Jody Huang, the lead organizer of the event thanked the student newcomer speakers and gave the attendees information about the workshops what workshops were happening next.

The 3 students workshops were:
1) Student Leadership opportunities and Meeting New Friends with Michael Consul, Joel Ndongmi, and Taylor Dallin.

2) Life Skills with Glendale Reyes

3) Stop the Stigma by CSLIT Executives Madison Furgiuele and Kyla Tan, accompanied by Settlement NOW Program worker Maria Guiao & Jarece Estiaga.

Staff also participated in 2 workshops:
AM – Culturally Relevant Pedagogy and Settlement Resources
PM – Equity/Understanding Bias and Settlement Resource

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After the workshops, attendees had a pizza lunch and an opportunity to talk about waht they learned. Of course, no TCDSB event would be complete without a Talent Show! Students had the opportunity to share their gifts and talents with the rest of the conference attendees. Thank you to all those that performed!


The most important takeaways from this conference are definitely the pieces of advice shared with newcomers and student leaders alike.

Leadership advice from Rory McGuckin: Always be nice, ask questions, give it your best, and remember to say “thank you.”

Advice for all newcomers from Mijung Kim: Find a caring adult that you trust to go to for help, get involved, and above all – take pride in your culture and where you’re from.

Once again, this year’s newcomer conference was themed “We Belong” and based off of our board’s new 3 year pastoral plan which you can read more about here.

If you’re in high school and would like to get involved, CSLIT meets the last Tuesday of every month at the CEC (80 Sheppard Ave. E.), from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. The next general assembly meeting will be on October 30th. Register you here to attend.

Follow the CSLIT Twitter and Instagram to stay connected:

CSLIT Twitter and Instagram: @CSLIT_TCDSB

For elementary students who want to get involved, you can ask your teacher to sign up your school up ECSLIT. Elementary CSLIT meetings are held at the CEC the first Thursday of the month (4:30-6:30). The next ECSLIT meeting is November 1st, teachers can register their schools here.



Thank you to everyone who was involved in making the newcomer conference a success, and thank you to everyone who attended!

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