Meet the Catholic school board's graduation coach for Black, African and Caribbean students

·2 min read
Graduation coach Sydnie Moore chatting with Grade 12 student Sarah Alimasi in the hallway at Catholic Central High School. (Jacob Barker/CBC - image credit)
Graduation coach Sydnie Moore chatting with Grade 12 student Sarah Alimasi in the hallway at Catholic Central High School. (Jacob Barker/CBC - image credit)

It's a dream job for Sydnie Moore. She became the graduation coach for Black, African and Caribbean students at Catholic Central High School in Windsor about a month and a half ago.

"Being an advocate for our Black, African and Caribbean students has definitely been a dream of mine and being able to fulfil it is amazing," Moore said.

The position was created to help increase graduation rates among the students and address barriers and gaps the students face in the educational system as a whole, Moore explained.

"Our Black, African and Caribbean students along with our Indigenous students are facing a lot of issues that are preventing them from going into post-secondary. Graduation rates are a lot lower for our Black, African and Caribbean students," she said.

Jacob Barker/CBC
Jacob Barker/CBC

She said she wants to be an advocate for students and work with them to be the person they want to be.

"I'm asking them where would they like to see themselves. What are the barriers that are present for them what are preventing them from being the best version of themselves," she said.

Right now, her main office is at Catholic Central but she does plan to expand the program — not just in high schools but also in elementary schools as well.

"We realize that a lot of the issues that are occurring within our educational system start at younger ages as well," she said.

'Really grateful to her'

Sarah Alimasi, a Grade 12 student at Catholic Central who is originally from Congo, said she enjoys working with Moore.

"She has been a really big help to me," Alimasi said, adding that Moore specifically helped her with a problem she was facing when it came to school credits.

"I'm really grateful fo her," she said.

Jacob Barker/CBC
Jacob Barker/CBC

Alimasi said that her school is somewhere where you find students from other cultures, and that the help Moore can give is needed.

"We all need different help," she said.

"Talking to her is just easy," she said. "When I'm talking to her, just like, I feel like I can be me. I don't I need to force myself to bring out something that's not there."

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

CBC
CBC
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