"You Become What You Understand" ~ Soren Kierkegaard @drjosephjsmith
Joseph Smith is a trained teacher who is qualified to teach in the elementary and secondary panels of the TDSB. He is also presently pursuing a PhD in the Humanities focussing specifically on – through utilizing the disciplines of philosophy, psychology, religion and literature studies – the ontology of the mind and its relationship to narrative identities. He was born and raised within the Jane and Finch community and has been drawn to this community work due to his own experiences of having to overcome the emotional ramifications of parental absenteeism, gun violence, drug abuse, racism and classism, all of which pose formidable obstacles to emotional and intellectual development for those within marginalized communities like the one he serves. His vision for the program is that each participant will – after having undergone the program's educational sessions on emotional intelligence and mental health, and through taking advantage of the partnerships and supports the program provides – become an "Anchor" in their respective communities, capable of not only allowing themselves to live up to their full potential educationally, economically, and emotionally, but also, allowing and aiding others to live up to their own potential, in their respective areas of interest.