It’s one accomplishment after another for DAREarts graduates! The most recent is 17 year-old Dante Royale Scholar, who recently participated in the Pan Am Torch Relay on behalf of DAREarts! Dante represented 13,000 DAREarts kids as he helped the Pan Am flame along its 41-day journey to the games. The torch bearing took place on Sunday July 5, 2015 at 9:45 AM, beginning at 995 Danforth Ave and finishing at 1111 Danforth Ave in Toronto.
“Like all of our DAREarts graduates, we have watched Dante strive to become his best possible self since we first met him,” says Marilyn Field, founder and president of DAREarts. “When approached by Cirque du Soleil with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, there was no doubt in my mind he would make us proud and represent his DAREarts peers with passion and pride.”
The chance for DAREarts to participate in the Pan Am Relay would not have been possible without the generosity of Pan Am premier partner, Cirque du Soleil who has worked with DAREarts to empower kids at risk. Dante graduated from the DAREarts program in 2012 and received the 2015 DAREarts Leadership Award earlier this year. He continues to be active in DAREarts as a volunteer, mentoring younger children.
“Joining the DAREarts program was the best thing that ever happened to me,” said Dante who credits DAREarts for the positive changes he’s made. “I am trying to raise money using GoFundMe to keep the torch as a memento of this once in a lifetime opportunity.” Click here to donate to Dante’s torch fund.
Dante was greeted at the finish line by friends, family and DAREarts peers who cheered him on as he passed the torch. For Dante, the most memorable moment was afterwards in the park when a young girl approached him asking to shake his hand. “It made me feel as though I was definitely doing something right,” says Dante. “Every kid needs a hero; I’m going to do my best to make sure that every day it can be me.”
DAREarts’ lead supporters are Northbridge Insurance, Guy Carpenter, Scotiabank, Ontario Arts Council and Ontario Trillium Foundation.