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Team Seneca

Seneca steps up to the challenge for charity

by Danae Theakston, Public Relations — Corporate Communications

Thirty-seven Seneca students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends took on one of the tallest buildings in the world Saturday, Nov. 7, climbing the 1,776 steps of the CN Tower to raise money for the United Way.

Seneca participated in the annual climb as one of the many fundraising efforts for its annual United Way Campaign.

Seneca’s team of climbers raised $2,844, through registration fees and pledges, to go toward the campaign's overall donation goal.

Among them was Ryan Howard, a recent Seneca alumni who knows first-hand the benefits that United Way brings to communities. Ryan lives with dyslexia, dysgraphia and Attention Deficit Disorder, and due to this always associated school with fear. Ryan struggled with the thought of taking a written entry test for college and initially postponed his education following high school.

The breakthrough came when Ryan discovered the Learning Disability Association (LDA) of York Region, an agency of the United Way.

interview

Danae Theakston and Ryan Howard

With the support of the LDA and Seneca’s Counselling and Accessibility Services, Ryan successfully completed Seneca’s Pre-Service Firefighter program. Last month, he  graduated with honours as class valedictorian.

“United Way gave me the hope and the confidence, that even though I had some issues with learning, I could do it,” Ryan said. “If you persevere, if you get the accommodations that you need and you do your due diligence, that’s all possible.”

Seneca is a long-time supporter of the United Way. United Way is the largest non-government funder of social services in Canada and a contributor to the Seneca community where one in three Seneca students benefit from United Way funded services and community-led solutions.

This year’s campaign ends on Monday, Nov. 16 and there are still plenty of fundraising events to participate in.

Reaching the top

Reaching the top of the tower.