We met up with Antonius Jamal Clarke today in Downsview Park on the northern tip of Toronto. Years ago, Antonius started a non-profit organization called Friends In Trouble with the goal of helping alleviate the impacts of poverty on his community, commonly known as "Jane & Finch."
From his own personal experience and drawing on the experiences of his friends and neighbours, Antonius knew that many of the problems facing his community were not being addressed effectively. So he, along with some other youth, set out to form a program that addressed poverty, immigration, and gang related issues through the arts, education, assistance and civic engagement.
Their work is now changing as they become a set of mentors to other friends, neighbourhoods, cities and organizations looking to make more effective changes in their communities. Antonius, only in his mid-twenties, has already won the Nelson Mandela Award for community leadership, the Pinball Clemons Visionary Leadership Award, the New Pioneer Award for Community Service and has run for city council!
Contact them or check out their work at www.friendsintrouble.ca