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Much to my dismay, students already enrolled in the JC-HEM program were exempt from applying to SRP until they had completed the three-year curriculum they were already engaged in. Nine of us received this news like an unsharpened guillotine. We had all exceeded the academic requirements, produced the proper legal documentation and demonstrated our commitment to community and positive involvement in extracurricular activities. We were candidates who seamlessly aligned with the mission and values of the program, and both my colleagues and the organization knew it. But, rules are rules and, I will tell you this, there will be times in your life when, no matter how unjust something seems, you must simply hang your head and accept the circumstance. I know that sounds like weak advice for a father to give his son. It would be much more romantic to instill in you notions akin to those of epic warriors, of men who never hung their heads until they gasped their final breath. I wish I could tell you. But son, not every man’s path can be beaten down, some of us must tread carefully towards the things that dreams are made of. And, don’t you ever forget that your father did fight, but in a way that honoured the time-tested statement that the pen is mightier than the sword.

Published by Gabriel Ndayishimiye

Gabriel Ndayishimiye lives in London, Ontario. He is a writer with a passion to contribute to Black history and literature; and the author of “Run Elvin” (forthcoming), a memoir written for youth from marginalized backgrounds. This book tells Gabriel’s academic/life experiences from refugee camps in East and Southern Africa and now from the metropolis of the western world. The story aims to inspire and motivate such demographic of youth to take up given opportunities to be creative, achieve success, and develop resilience to fight the challenges of life.

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