Nike graduated from high school in 2012.
Watch the video to see how his story has unfolded from when he was a Pathways student to today.
Nike joined the Pathways Program in Grade 9. It was during this time that he developed a passion for video editing and met some key mentors who inspired him to go after big opportunities like a multi-year scholarship and a job at a widely renowned video editing firm. “You never know where that one relationship will take you,” Nike reflects.
As an aspiring creative professional and a young small business owner, Nike was aware of the need to acquire practical skills like filming, editing, and knowing what equipment to use. In fact, he had started a video club in his high school to help others develop these abilities. But what he quickly came to realize was that entrepreneurial projects, even in the arts, also require a strong knowledge of financial planning. “I think the art is probably the smallest part,” Nike explains. “The financial side plays an incredible role, because if you don’t have that financial literacy lens, your business is going to suffer.”
It’s through a trusted mentor at Pathways that Nike first heard about the TD Scholarship for Community Leadership—a prestigious award given to students who demonstrate strong leadership within their community. While he recalls being intimidated by the financial amount attached to the award, Nike’s Pathways mentor encouraged him to apply after noticing his work giving back to other students. With both a financial award and the opportunity for a rotating work experience at TD included as part of the scholarship, his mentor saw it as the perfect opportunity for Nike to complement his creative skills while gaining valuable business knowledge. Just a few months later, Nike was awarded the scholarship and started his first role at TD. “I think that speaks to the power of mentorship and having people that believe in you,” he explains.
As part of the scholarship, Nike worked as a bank teller for a year. He recalls that this frontline experience in the world of finance allowed him to understand how the right business decisions are crucial to entrepreneurial success. “It really just forced me to get comfortable with numbers and accounts,” Nike notes. “That was a big plus when it was time to figure out what business accounts should I go with for my own ventures.”
With this financial literacy developed through work experience, Nike was able to grow his business in other ways, like expanding his customer base and developing his creative skills. Today, he continues to juggle a busy full-time job and various entrepreneurial projects using the skills he acquired through the scholarship. And there is one thing he’s sure about: he couldn’t have done it without the supports of trusted mentors he met at Pathways and in the community. “Whether at Pathways or at work,” Nike reflects, “I’ve come to learn life is all about connections and relationships.” Looking forward, he is committed to keep developing his craft without losing sight of his lifelong commitment: helping others achieve their dreams. “When you get to this point,” Nike explains, “you start to think about how you can help more people in the same way that someone else helped you.”