Maya Majdoub, a Secondary 4 student at James Lyng High School in Montreal, says her new kicks will get her off the sidelines in gym class.
“I love them. My old shoes hurt my feet a lot because they’re usually flat and this one has a curve,” she said.
“I feel a lot better with walking and all that.”
She is one of 155 students at James Lyng High School in Montreal who kicked off the week with a brand new pair of sneakers on Monday morning.
All thanks to a shoe drive organized by a former intern at the school, located in the southwestern district of Saint-Henri.
Julian Grau-Brown said after a successful campaign last year he decided to start over because it helps so many students and their families.
“I remember when I was in high school. It was so important to me to start the brand new year off with a brand new pair of sneakers,” Grau-Brown said. “I know it’s not affordable for everyone.”
He donated 15 more pairs of shoes this year than last year. As he is currently finishing his university studies, he said he hopes to expand the shoe drive to more Montreal high schools in the future.
James Lyng High School principal Giovanni Iammarrone said he was actually Grau-Brown’s teacher at Laurier Macdonald High School in the Saint-Léonard borough of Montreal.
He said he wasn’t surprised to see Grau-Brown doing this now.
“Really, he’s a really great person,” he said.
“As educators, all we can really hope for is that when our children leave the classroom, they will have a positive impact on society and today we are seeing it.”
Secondary 5 student Guandique Richards Nichols said many people around the world didn’t have shoes and her new pair was a fresh start.
“Due to personal issues or issues at home and such, not everyone can afford it,” he said. “So it’s good to have free shoes.”
For more photos from Monday’s shoe giveaway, scroll down: