By: Chukky Ibe
10 years of the SSC, wow. Congratulations to the whole team on this amazing accomplishment. I usually told stories of my childhood around the SSC watercooler, so please indulge me as I share one more.
I grew up in a culture that was structured so deeply by age. We called everyone older than us “aunty” or “uncle” without ever meeting them before. We never looked adults in their eyes, and for the most part, lived in complete deference to older people. This was just how we lived — not good or bad, just different.
My time at the SSC was not spent just learning new skills and working on projects, but it was also about learning a whole new culture.
Not good or bad, just different.
It took me about a year to look people in their eyes, and I still feel weird every time I just say “Michele.”
In the SSC, I learned to live another way. I learned how young people and adults could share, learn from each other and build together. I learned we all had a piece of something bigger than our parts.
Whether it was discussing outlander with Jillian, or Ana saving my life more than once or building a Welcome Week schedule with Michele and Rachel, I learned nothing is complete on its own. We all have something each other is looking for, and we should give willingly because only in giving do we receive.
Thank you for making me comfortable enough to say Ana, Rachel, Michele, Anushay, Gina, Gisela and Jacquie. And for your partnership and collaboration all these years.
So I hope you are all deeply proud of what you have accomplished, and what you continue to accomplish. I hope you continue to transform the lives of the young people who walk through your doors, and you continue to allow yourself to be transformed by them.
Chukky Ibe is a McMaster grad and former SSC student staff and MSU president. He is currently a legislative assistant to members of Parliament in Ottawa.