Latonya LudfordM.D. Candidate in Urban Innovation, University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies B.A. Honours in Political Science 2020
I am a graduate student in the Master of Urban Innovation Program, a professional development program. I am being trained to lead, manage and strategize innovative urban economic development initiatives to promote vibrant and socially sustainable cities. I will have the opportunity to put the skills I am learning into practice for the Toronto Board of Trade Case Competition I will be participating in this spring.
Favourite Memories at UTM
My final year of my undergraduate was the most memorable because I had the privilege to be taught by Professor Spyridon Kotsovilis, who pushed me to reach my full academic potential. He helped me to apply to the MUI program, which at the time was accepting its first cohort (only 12 students). Without his encouragement, I may not have had the confidence to apply because of fear of rejection. Professor Kotsovilis encouraged me to have large ambitions and step outside my comfort zone to achieve them, and for that, I am forever grateful. He is truly a dedicated teacher who aims to see his students thrive. I also won my first Political Science Award, specifically the Ana Maria Bejarano Award for Excellence in Latin American Politics for an essay I wrote entitled "The Complex Nature of Social Movements."
Message from Latonya
I coordinate a youth mentorship program, where I get the opportunity to help middle school and high school students develop key leadership skills. Other mentors and I provide weekly programs and conferences that help create impactful peer-to-peer connections, boost self-esteem, provide direction, and create a safe space for youth to develop, grow, and transform. It is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life.