Francis Atta is a child and youth worker, community leader, youth advocate, mentor, philanthropist, author, and motivational speaker. He currently works at the Toronto Catholic District School Board and at Covenant House in Toronto, Canada as a child and youth worker.
Francis is another positive product of the Jane and Finch area of Toronto, Canada. This area bears a reputation for activities which lead some youths to a life of crime and lawlessness. As a young man he got a criminal record, and lost friends due to gang violence.
Francis was raised in a single parent household with 11 siblings. He witnessed many youths in his community travelling aimlessly down a path of negativity — which would obviously lead to destruction. He says, “From that I was determined to make a change in the community.”
His early academic ambitions were stymied by low grades; however, he found the will and the courage to push himself to graduate high from school. He was accepted to college, but while attending college he became homeless.
Attending college was another step Francis took to become a positive role model for youths in his community. Although he struggled his whole way through college, and living in a homeless shelter did not help — Francis graduated with one of the highest marks in his class, a 3.87 GPA. His criminal record was cleared he was now empowered to fulfill one of his dreams — being able to work with youths.
Francis humbly states, “I can truly say that hard work and commitment do pay off as I am now a recipient of 20 prestigious Canadian Awards, including; The 2012 Canada’s Top 25 Immigrant Award presented by RBC Bank and Canadian Immigrant Awards, 2012 Lincoln Alexander Recognition Award, 2013 African Entertainment Award for Community Service, 2013 Identify and Impact Award for Community Youth Worker of The Year presented by Toronto City Hall, 2010 Urban Hero Award presented by Toronto Community Newspaper, 2012 Young Black and Gifted Award, 2012 Herbert Carnegie Award, just to name a few.”
With beaming pride and confidence Francis reminds us that, “ Robert Herjavec, the millionaire from CBC hit show The Dragon Den, has a new bestselling book out called ‘The Will To Win’, in which he wrote a paragraph about me and the work that I do.”
Francis is a well-respected motivational speaker, child and youth worker, youth advocate, community leader, and most recently, an author. In October of this year he released his debut book, The Flip. His book proposes different techniques for parents and youths to re-evaluate their lives and change what is negative into something positive. The Flip views various issues from the perspectives of the parent and child. Some of the issues the book addresses include peer pressure, money, God, gangs, being a positive role model, communication, and positive thinking.
In his book, Francis provides examples from his life experiences and emphasizes the importance and benefits of hard work, honesty, and positive influences. The Flip shares his journey from Kumasi, Ghana to Toronto, Canada and how he was able to flip his life from negative to positive.
"The Flip is written in a unique and informal tone and it is a must read for youths and adults alike,” says Francis.
Learn more, visit http://www.theflip.ca/
By: Karl A. Haughton
Dec 8, 2013