Nompumelelo Moyo (LJI)
Simeon Pompey is a well-respected educator and community worker whose commitment to those in his charge and to those around him has earned him recognition and acclamation.
“Being acknowledged validates my time invested in trying to motivate people and when people recognize you want to do more,” says Pompey.
At Dawson College, where he has been a teacher in Community Recreation and Leadership Training department for the past 18 years, his contributions and dedication to students and institution have elevated to the top shelf.
In 2016, the Dawson College Legacy Club presented him with the Outstanding Teacher Award. And in 2022, he was the recipient of the regional award for the Forces Avenir in the Personnel Engager division. (The commendations recognize CEGEP teachers who go above and beyond their duties to engage young people in the college and the community.)
On October 4th 2022he was recognized in the House of Commons as a distinguish teacher, community leader and father.
As an advocate for learning, Pompey feels strongly that children need to grow in a culture of reading and writing at home, understanding also the importance of education.
And points parents responsibility to encourage their children help them build confidence as they grow.
He says he is grateful to be attached to an institution such as Dawson College, which has been instrumental in helping young people in the Black community but would like to see more Black people and minorities in post-secondary education.
As a community worker, Pompey is the director of Comite-Jeunesse N.D.G, which manages the Walkey Community Centre, St Raymond Community Centre and seven day camps.
He says Walkley and St Raymond are sectors with large Black and other immigrant populations and many of those families need more guidance and assistance to integrate in society.
Her says Comite-Jeuness engages with three levels of government to manage facilities and support other non-profit organization, which provide recreational, academic, sport services within the borough for the betterment of communities.
They hire young people to provide work experience and develop opportunities for them. Students from Dawson College and Concordia University also do internship programs in those facilities.
Being an immigrant himself, Pompey who came to Canada from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines when he was 12 years old says he understands the struggle and “works to build infrastructure and programs relevant to the recipients.”
“My community centers are important hubs for people, especially the youth because we can positively influence them, as well as offer guidance and provide mentorship.
When they are in our care we can do a lot more as opposed to them being on the streets. Unfortunately, it is very upsetting when we hear tragic news with a lot of questions asked.”
He says despite all the efforts being put in place it is never enough only those who are fortunate to access the resources can make their time productive, under the care of these organizations it becomes easy to get academic and mental support but are still falling through the cracks.
Sadly, many end up in criminality.
Pompey believes if government and other agencies could come together to find the necessary resources they would be able to combat some of these challenges.
Pompey who grew up on Walkley Avenue in N.D.G, when it had negative image did his best to change the narrative of the neighborhood.
After college he went on to earn a degree in Economics from Concordia University and in is spare time became quite proficient as a golfer.
When asked what his motivation was he said growing up they were told you have work twice as hard to overcome some of the barriers this in turn will ensure that when you fall you have a soft landing.
He started community work during his time at university when he started working at the Canadian Pacific and City of Montreal where he worked with the youth from the Walkley area.
A consummate volunteer Pompey works with Prevention Cote-des-Neiges/NDG, Loisirs Snowdon, Earth Values Institute Inc. and Oliver Jones Music & Community Outreach and also also sits on the governing board of Marymount Academy.
And was also awarded for his contributions with the International Contributor of the Year (2010) presented by the First Tee of America, Community Leadership Prize (2015) presented the Montreal Community Cares Foundation.
“I will never know how many lives were saved, but I am very happy that the work that I have been doing for the past 43 years in the NDG community has had a positive impact. It keeps me motivated and busy.”