The Leadership by Design (LBD) program is the signature program offered by the Lifelong Leadership Institute (LLI). The purpose of the Leadership By Design program is to inspire leadership and develop leaders. The LBD program will provide youth in the African-Caribbean community with wide-ranging opportunities to develop and practise effective leadership. The change we wish in our world comes from leaders who know how to ‘get things done’. Leaders effect change. Leaders get the right results. Leaders engage others. Leadership is a prized attribute that all employers seek. These are some of the reasons for investing in leadership development. The Leadership By Design program underscores our determination to prepare youth in the African-Caribbean community for leadership roles in all aspects of their lives. This can only benefit our community and the broader society.

The Leadership By Design program will provide at least seven years of development support for student participants, and these will span the high-school years and the university/college years. Students will be accepted in their Grade 10 year and be provided leadership development, and career development, throughout Grades 10, 11 and 12. We anticipate these students will aspire for a university or college education, and we will continue our support of their development throughout their post-secondary education up to, and including, graduate studies. An exploration of the curriculum, and the benefits of the LBD program, will show that this is a highly ambitious program geared to providing our youth with opportunities for success in leadership, in their careers, and in community service.

The student who participates in the LBD program should benefit in the following ways:

  • Multi-year student-success support spanning the high-school years and the university/college years
  • Leadership development
  • Career development
  • Mentorship (career mentors and ‘near-peer mentors’)
  • Circle of Care support for academic success in the high-school years (may include some tutoring)
  • Scholarship opportunities (for university or college)
  • Financial literacy
  • Character education
  • Computer skills including coding
  • Entrepreneurship skills
  • Community service opportunities
  • Civic engagement
  • Exploration of cultural arts (performing and visual arts)
  • Learning via field trips (may include inter-provincial and out-of-country travel)
  • Collaborative activities with other African-Caribbean youth from across the GTA

The Leadership By Design program will provide an extensive program of leadership and career development outside the high-school’s programming, and this will improve the student’s prospects for academic and career success. However, it is important that the student does well within the high-school curriculum and qualifies for admission into university or college. To ensure this happens, the LBD program will utilize a cocoon of support that involves collaboration among school, parent and community (i.e. LBD). We call this collaboration the Circle of Care.

The Circle of Care program will wrap each student with a ‘teacher champion’, parents who naturally are keen to do all that is necessary, and the community partner (LBD). The LBD, as community partner, will work with the teacher and parent to ‘fill in the gaps’ – adding supports that are not readily available via the school. This may include tutoring services. All three partners will be guided by four key values:

  1. Encouragement: Students require encouragement to strive and thrive.
  2. Cooperation: The student, parents, teacher champion and community must work collaboratively.
  3. Resilience: Asking all parties to commit to a program spanning three-years of high school can be a tall order. All parties must commit to the program.
  4. Effort: While effort and success are not the same, effort by all partners is a critical ingredient for the success of our students.

The concept of the Circle of Care is described in the diagram below.

DIAGRAM - LifelongLeadership_3Circles-11.8.5_All3_001

The Leadership By Design (LBD) program targets Canadian youth who meet all of the following criteria:

  • Will start Ontario Grade 10 in September 2018
  • Is of Jamaican or African-Caribbean heritage.
  • Has academic and leadership potential
  • Will be enrolled in a high school administered by the public or Catholic school boards in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). These boards include:

Toronto District School Board (TDSB

Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB)

Peel District School Board (PDSB)

Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board (DPCDSB)

York Region District School Board (YRDSB)

York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB)

Durham District School Board (DDSB)

Durham Catholic District School Board (DCDSB)

Students starting the Leadership By Design program in September 2016 will complete the program as a cohesive group (cohort). They will complete high school in 2019 and enter university in September 2019. The chart below provides a year-by-year guide to the curriculum elements of the LBD program. Of course, the LBD workload will be reasonable and will be balanced against the workload demands of the regular high school program.

LLI- LEADERSHIP-BY-DESIGN - Cohort Cycle for Website_001

Unique/ out of school, cutting edge,


The Leadership By Design program is free of costs to registered students. The core services are free. However, some field trips may require contributions by parents/guardians who are in position to make a financial contribution.

Instructors & Facilitators

The Leadership By Design program will call on the services of subject-matter experts who will provide their expertise and skills to the benefit of our students. Our instructors, facilitators and guest presenters will be selected for their ability to deliver content, which engages our students and effectively advances their learning in a particular topic. Most learning sessions will involve student discussions and inquiry.

Sessional Dates – 2018-19

The calendar for the LBD academic year 2018-19 will be released in September 2018. Some activities will be scheduled in consultation with registered students.

Q1: Will the Leadership By Design program require fees for my child’s participation?

A1: No. The LBD program is free. However, some field trips may require a contribution from parents with the means to do so.

Q2: Will parental income influence the selection of students?

A2: No. Student selection is based on criteria noted in the section on admissions into the LBD program.

Q3: Will parents/guardians of selected students be kept informed about the activities and programs of the LBD program?

A3: Yes. Parents and guardians will be informed, by email, about the programs and activities of the LBD. At times, parents will be invited to participate in certain activities. Remember, the LBD program is premised on a respectful partnership with parents/guardians.

Q4: Does the LBD program have special expectations for parents/guardians?

A4: Yes. Parents are expected to be supportive of the learning initiatives of the LBD program, and to work collaboratively with the program. As well, parents/guardians are expected to encourage their students to attend all meetings and learning opportunities.

Q5: When will LBD student meetings be scheduled?

A5: Most meeting sessions will be scheduled on Saturdays (likely one Saturday per month) and on school PA days. There will likely be a one or two-week computer workshop in the early summer. Where possible, some optional programming may be scheduled for March Break. The schedule for the academic year 2018-19 will be finalized in consultation with registered students.

Q6: Where will LBD student meetings be held?  

A6: The venues are yet to be determined. These will likely be at university, college or corporate venues. There are no plans to use high-school facilities.  

Q7: Will scholarships be provided to all students in the LBD program?

A7: No. However, while some LBD students will receive scholarships directly from the LBD program, the LBD will encourage and prepare students to apply, in a timely way, for the many scholarships that are available from other sources. These scholarships are available to students entering or already enrolled in post-secondary institutions.

Q8: I plan to have my child apply for the 2018 LBD program. Should my child not gain admission, is there other support available?

A8: Should your child apply for admission into the 2018 LBD program and not be admitted, we will likely enroll your child as an Associate of the LBD. LBD Associates will receive regular bulletins about leadership issues and opportunities, and be invited to special events including the annual leadership conference. Please encourage your child to apply for LBD admission.

Q9: What provisions will be made to ensure the safety of my child at LBD meetings and events?

A9: The LBD program will have policies and practices which foster a safe environment for participants in our events. These will include a code of conduct and child safety, and protection of privacy regulations. Many of the LBD’s policies will substantially mirror those of the GTA’s school boards.

Members of the PAC may (i) provide advice, (ii) develop and lead a curriculum unit, (iii) attend and be party to all our sessions with LbD registrants, (iv) nominate and work with subject-matter experts who are delivering a curriculum unit, and (v) otherwise contribute to the effectiveness of the LbD program.


BROWN, Maureen Founder, Diversity Trainers Plus.

Provides assessment, strategic planning, training and implementation supports to organizations

CARTER, Michael CEO, LeapAgents – staffing and recruiting; career coach; corporate and personal branding
HIGGINS, Arlene Vice-Principal, Bayview Secondary School, York Region District School Board


CEO, The Executive Minds; Former Consul General for Barbados in Toronto
MORGAN, Velma Teacher, TDSB; Policy Advisor, Cabinet Ministers, Government of Ontario
MUNROE, Michelle Central Coordinator, Parent and Community Engagement, TDSB
TYRELL, Claudine, Instructional Leader, Guidance, Career and Adolescent Development, TDSB
EDWARDS, O’neil Director, Spanning the Gaps – Access to Post-Secondary Education, The Chang School, Ryerson University
JUNOR, Paul Teacher, Math & Science

Sir. Wilfrid Laurier CI, Scarborough, TDSB

WARNER, Karen Manager, Scholarships & Bursaries,

York University

FOREMAN, Brenda BSTYLED; Personal Image Consultant; Etiquette Coach; Personal Branding
BOREL. Lennox Professor (retired), OISE/University of Toronto
REID, Marlon President Emeritus and Chair of the Corporate Advisory Board, Urban Financial Services Coalition (UFSC), Toronto Chapter; Author

LBD FLYER - MESSAGE TO PARENTS - Published June 2016 - Series P2-M-page-001