"What influenced you to be a hero?" asked one student.
"I want to be a lawyer as well when I grow up. What motivated you to become successful?" asked another as the entire gymnasium burst with arms raised by students and staff who were eager to hear more from the former Fletcher's Creek Sr. Public School student.
Almost 20 years ago, Jamil Jivani wandered the halls of Fletcher's Creek as a student, not knowing what his future would hold. He found himself struggling in school and surrounded by friends who, he says, didn't bring out the best in him. He never thought that he would return to his alma mater to share his personal story of hardship, perseverance and life success with a new generation of students who were eager to be inspired.
Jivani faced many obstacles throughout his youth, but with the support from his mother and a determination to change his life around, Jivani achieved what he didn't even know he could. He began to focus and work hard for his education. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in International Development from York University and in 2010, to his surprise, he was admitted to Yale Law School on a scholarship.
"You are in a position where your life can turn out in a million different directions and you should believe that your wildest dreams are possible. Whatever challenges that you confront, don't lose faith that something better awaits you – persevere and your life can be amazing."
Flash forward, Jivani is now a successful lawyer, visiting professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, author and human rights activist. He hopes his story will influence others to focus on their education and achieve their hearts desire.
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