Eugene Solodkin arrived in Canada just three years ago. Amy Wang? Five. Sophie Chen? Six.
In that time, each adjusted to life in a new country, mastered English and graduated from high school — not just at the top of their class, but the best in their entire school board. In recent years, the top students at any given board in Greater Toronto have been just as likely to be born in Canada as not.
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In the Toronto public board, all three top students this year are immigrants. Top student Amy Wang enrolled in ESL when she arrived from Xian, China in 2002. The Peel District School Board’s top spot was shared by four students — all of them born outside Canada.
Ryerson professor Mehrunnisa Ali said many immigrant parents put a “great emphasis on education.”