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Looking Back at Paying It Forward

I believe that when you do well in life, you have to pay it forward. I ran away from home at the age of ten and I was on the street when I was picked up by the Catholic Children’s Aid Society in Toronto. They became my legal guardian, and I became a Crown Ward, meeting a lot of great caring people through my time in care, including my foster parents, the Cusack’s, who helped an angry and scared kid become a man.

I have lived on my own since the age of sixteen with the support of my worker at the time, Myron Kylmco. Myron showed a lot of belief in me and submitted my name for a Catholic Children’s Aid Foundation Scholarship. On Wednesday, September 25, 1996, it was the first time I received a scholarship. I remember how motivated it made me to try my best at anything I would do. I told myself that when I started making enough money to give back, I would.

It would take a couple years, but I kept my word and donated to the Hope for Children Foundation, which was affiliated with the Catholic Children’s Aid Society. I gave several scholarships through the Hope for Children Foundation and then decided to start my own scholarship.

On Saturday, July 18, 2015, I gave away the first DO Youth Boxing Scholarship, and it became an annual tradition. The criteria for applicants were that they had to be a youth involved in boxing between the ages of 15 to 18 and send in an essay on who they are, what boxing means to them, and how they are involved in their community. The scholarship ran until I shut all of my businesses down in 2021 due to the economy. As I venture back into business, I am excited to develop new opportunities to pay it forward. – DO

Dameon Okposio
Dameon Okposio
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, I spent my childhood in Foster Care under the Catholic Children’s Aid Society after running away from home at age ten. Using music and art as outlets, I co-founded a hip-hop group called E.P. (the Effervescent Play Posse) during my teens. Our performances, including one at Exhibition Place in Toronto, garnered attention, leading to a record contract offer. By age sixteen, I was living independently and working while exploring entrepreneurship. In my late teens, I began investing with a financial advisor, setting the stage for my financial future.
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