J2A? (It stands for “Journey to Adulthood”).
Since Toronto is arguably the most multi-cultural city on the planet (before howels of protests are heard, that is according to the U.N.) we get a lot of educational “cultural exchange” programs.
“Journey to Adulthood” is a unique “Life Skills” development program. It is a concept of a Detroit Inner-City Episcopal Church that has small teams of youths go to a strange large city and navigate themselves to destinations assigned to them by address alone.
They are taking young individuals on the cusp of adulthood and equipping them with the life-skills to function in the increasingly complicated urban reality.
This year, there were two teams (4 boys vs. 3 girls) who were given tasks suchy as locating the final resting place of the great classical pianist Glen Gould in the massive Mt. Pleasant Cemetary.
Pam Wilkins and Roger Basse were the two chaperones who silently “shadowed” each group every step of the way.
Luckily, Toronto is quite an easy city to navigate with major roads laid out in a north-south, east-west grid and we have a pretty efficient transit system. Given only scant direction the youths did an admirable job locating strange places in a strange city.
Apparently, the church alternates their annual excursions between Chicago and Toronto. We hope they will use our city exclusively from now on. After all, even though we are smaller than the Windy City, I will venture to say that Toronto is a more ethnically diverse city.
(Not to mention that we are probably cleaner, definitely safer and at least as friendly!)