Educator and rapper honoured with Distinguished Award
May 30, 2019
A Canadian rapper was among seven Durham Catholic School graduates honoured with Distinguished Awards.
Keysha Fanfair (Keysha Freshh) graduated from Archbishop Denis O’Connor Catholic (DOC) High School in Ajax in 2011.
She is a member of ‘The Sorority’ which emerged after an all-female cypher, which is a freestyle jam session, on International Women’s Day in 2015 when a video of their spontaneous collaboration went viral with thousands of hits.
Fanfair teaches part-time at Seneca College and has also leveraged her creative gifts and talent for the East Scarborough Boys & Girls Club where she co-ordinated music productions and writing programs for young people.
Alexia Hughes, a teacher at the school, nominated her for the award.
“Keisha is a role model dedicated to serving others and improving communities,” Hughes said. “She is an excellent example of what we want our Catholic graduates to be and that’s to develop as individuals with a caring attitude that transcends their small community and engages others to allow them to excel.”
Fanfair said DOC provided her with a sense of community and belonging.
“The environment at DOC emboldened me to walk by faith, not by sight, and to contribute to my community with the same enthusiasm and kindness that our patron saint, St. Marguerite d'Youville, did,” she said. ‘Nil sine fide et labore’, which is the school’s motto, means nothing is accomplished without faith and work. I am honored to be recognized for my hard work and accomplishments.”
Other award winners included Father Leo Austin graduate Paul Ranger who spent six seasons in the National Hockey League, including one with the Toronto Maple leafs in 2013-14. Last year, he shared the story of how depression forced him to walk away from hockey and nearly led him to suicide..
The Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award recognizes graduates who have achieved significant success in their chosen fields.
Previous winners include ETALK senior correspondent Traci Melchor who is a DOC graduate.