My name is Valerie Briffa, I work at Safe City Mississauga as the Program Coordinator & Researcher for Crossroads, a crime prevention program delivered to highschool students in the form of educational presentations. I would like to nominate Cst. Joanna Styrczula, School Resource Officer for Division 12. She has undoubtedly gone above and beyond in terms of connecting Crossroads and myself to her assigned school, administration, events, and also, to her division 12 team.
One particular instance stands out to me, as it showcases her commitment to creating safe and inclusive spaces far beyond the scope of her assigned school.
After Joanna saw a presentation of mine regarding Intimate Partner Violence, she saw an opportunity to enhance it in a way that makes it more inclusive to youth who are in the LGBTQ2+ community. Very constructively, she set up a meeting with myself and other constables to review my presentation and work towards making it all-encompassing for youth of all sexualities and gender orientations. Learning from Jo from the lens of someone who is involved and knowledgeable about a number of LGBTQ initiatives and resources was extremely insightful.
As an educator in schools, having presented to over 4,500 youth in 2017, these simple acts go a LONG way. As a result of the time she took to educate me, I'm able to share these insights with others, while providing a safe and inclusive space for all students to be active participants in these conversations. Way to go, Jo!