Alumni Spotlight

Catching up with Joshua-David Heath '17.
Tell us a bit about yourself. 

My name is Joshua-David, although most people know me as JD. I’m a second-year sociology student at U of T, and I’m just one man waiting for his chance to change the world.

What's your journey beyond UCC been like so far? 

After graduating I spent a year in Ryerson Engineering before realizing it wasn’t the program for me. I then completed the first part of the Liberal Arts University Transfer program at Seneca College, and am the proud owner of a college diploma.

At U of T, I'm looking to add a criminology major after this year. My sights are set on law school, and from there my goal is to benefit my community as best as I can through my career in law.  

How have you been during this challenging time? What's keeping you busy?

2020 has certainly been a year unlike any other, but it wasn’t all bad. In addition to my courses, I started working at a nursing home helping supplement their staff during the pandemic. When I can spare the time, I’ve also been teaching myself guitar, pursuing various writing projects, and making my way through my ever-expanding list of books I want to read.

Is there an achievement or contribution that you’re most proud of?

At the top of my list right now is the academic turnaround I made at Seneca. The year before did not go according to plan at all, and I was feeling pretty low about it. Coming to Seneca, I was determined to meet the expectations I’d set for myself. That determination led me to graduate with honours. Having done that I know that I can overcome adversity that comes my way. It just might take some time.

Why do you think young alumni such as yourself should stay connected to the College? 

It’s harder for current students to see themselves in the older alumni. With younger Old Boys, students can see themselves where we are, and that’s inspiring.  

What motivates you as a young donor to Upper Canada College? 

The idea of “paying it forward” was really emphasized to students during my time at the school. I know the impact UCC has had on my life, and the way I can show my gratitude is help create this positive loop of giving back.

What's the best advice you've ever received?

To stay committed and know where I want to go, but at the same time, don’t get tunnel vision. To remember that there is a whole world outside of Toronto and Canada that’s waiting for me to come and experience, and that those opportunities won’t always be there. There really is no time like the present.

What advice would you give to current UCC students?

Don’t be afraid to play to your strengths — opportunity is out there and if you follow your passions, success will be sure to follow. Also, being proud of where you are now and wanting to be better aren’t mutually exclusive. Celebrate your successes in the moment and keep moving forward. You’ve got this.
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