Turning Experience and Compassion into Leadership
Alumnus Kevin Junor has a challenging job. As Senior Program Advisor (Use of Force) at the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, he’s faced with the task of influencing positive behavioural change for those looking for a second chance in society.
“I understand the obstacles,” says Kevin. “But I also have the rewarding opportunity to make a difference in the lives of correctional professionals and inmates in Ontario correctional facilities.”
Spending the early years of his life in Jamaica before immigrating to Canada, Kevin experienced a culture rich with family, faith and support. His mother’s favourite lyric "If I can help somebody as I pass along, then my living shall not be in vain," from the song “If I Can Help Somebody,” became a philosophy through which Kevin molded his character.
His past work experiences include Deputy Superintendent Operations at the Toronto Don Jail, and Manager, Institutional Services and Emergency Response Training with the Ontario Correctional Services College. He believes his disciplined approach to think before acting separates him from many of the inmates he’s encountered throughout his career.
“I usually took a moment to think before making my decision,” he says.
With his compassion, Kevin feels a responsibility to help an individual where he can without stepping outside of his professional boundaries.
“I make a point of treating others the way I want to be treated,” says Kevin. “I give them the respect they deserve as human beings.”
Kevin has also shared his influence on a global stage. In 2007, he was part of a group on a Canadian Forces Operation assigned to help restore and advise the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces after that country’s damaging civil war. Kevin spent several months providing tremendous guidance to the military as well as the villagers.
Similar to the song lyrics Kevin lives by, his own feelings were echoed by a young soldier in Sierra Leone, who said, “Mr. Junor made us feel like Canadians.”
Prior to enrolling in Seneca’s Civil Engineering program, Kevin spent a year full time in the army reserves. His army career span over three decades and he became a highly celebrated figure, reaching the rank of Chief Warrant Officer, and Regimental Sergeant Major with the Toronto Scottish Regiment (the first black Canadian to achieve this distinction in the regiment). Kevin was awarded the Order of Military Merit for his service.
Kevin’s believes the knowledge he’s gained and the skills he’s transferred across his various professional and military affiliations was enhanced with the foundation that he established at Seneca.
“I credit Seneca for helping me land a lab technician job with the Ministry of Transportation,” says Kevin. “I was recommended by somebody at the College, and to this day, I still don’t know who that person was.”
Throughout his career, Kevin has earned countless awards, served on several high profile boards, and been a motivational speaker, championing leadership, human rights and diversity. He is also a youth mentor and a leader in every sense of the word. In 2010, Kevin was recognized by Seneca as a nominee for the Premier’s Award for outstanding college graduates. Yet, when asked about his proudest accomplishment, not surprisingly, Kevin looks to his family.
“When life pulls me in many directions, my wife and children keep me grounded,” says Kevin. “They are my anchor.”