|Luis (of Frederick's team) Frederick, Sean, Rene and Mayor Mark|
|Rene and Frederick (I love those shoes!)|
Thursday, October 27th was a wet, cold, and miserable day, but Frederick Dryden and his Liberty For Youth team ran through Brighton to visit Mayor Mark Walas and The Beacon Youth Centre. It was just one of several stops for the day, as Frederick is running from Ottawa to Hamilton over three weeks to raise awareness for ‘youth at risk’ and to ask the Federal Government to increase funding.
Here at The Beacon Frederick stopped for lunch, speaking to an uncharacteristically quiet twenty-five ENSS students about his life. They were spellbound. What a story! Frederick grew up in Collingwood in one of only two Black families there and suffered from racism and discrimination. Troubles within his family led to him moving to Toronto where he joined a gang and eventually lived on the streets. Later, because of the efforts of a caring teacher who tutored him, and church organizations who accepted him, he completed his education and devoted his life to helping youth.
While in Brighton Frederick awarded Sean Amikons, a longtime Beacon attendee and now volunteer, the Liberty For Youth Perseverance Award and a $250 bursary. The award, funded by Liberty For Youth, is for those who steadfastly ‘stay the course’ and overcome obstacles on the way. Sean was an easy choice for the award, because he has come a long way from a very difficult early home life to where he is now. Sean is a graduate of ENSS and works at No Frills. Sean owes much of his maturation and success to his former foster parents and to people like our beloved Rick Hamilton, volunteer for the last few years at The Beacon, who has spent much time with Sean while teaching him blacksmithing and life skills.
Meanwhile, Frederick Dryden continues his daily “Running For Youth” mission, speaking to groups of youth and youth workers and distributing awards while raising funds to support awareness for his work in Hamilton’s gritty streets.
I hope to stay in touch with Frederick and would like him to come back again next year. “His story is an inspiration to us all!”
read more about Frederick at