Matias de Dovitiis is a community organizer that has volunteered and worked for over a decade in the north west of the City of Toronto.
He believes that household income should not be a barrier for education. Matias has helped establish two full entry scholarships to York University, bursaries through Teach2 Learn, and dozens of local bursaries over the last year for Grade 5, 8 and 12 students in schools in York West. Matias is also dedicated to creating positive learning experiences for students. He is active in local schools and community centres where he regularly meets with youth and helps run important learning activities such as youth workshops, programming and free tutoring classes.
Bringing people together and building a sense of community has always been a priority for Matias. As such, he has helped found a number of important organizations and projects including the Downsview Advocate community newspaper, the Organization of Latin American Students, Mosaico 21, Toronto Area Council, Ethno-Racial Equity Committee, M.A.T.A., CONOSER and Teach2Learn.
He currently works as an Executive Director for the DUKE Heights BIA, one of the largest BIA’s in North America. He has held the position for over 18 months, where he was able to turn a brand new organization into a significant catalyst for change in the area. Through a series of Planning and Economic studies, the DUKE Heights BIA is now well on its way to develop a new model for BIA’s in the City, which not induce retail business, but also foster economic investment, employment development and provide local businesses with significant amounts of supports. The BIA has already led to the investment of significant amounts of infrastructure funding for example, in order to stimulate private sector investment in the area.
Working for Councillor Anthony Perruzza for eight years at City Hall as his Executive Assistant, Matias has solved casework issues for hundreds of individuals and families and helped create a number of initiatives and progressive policies. He has helped in organizing events such as the Tour de Black Creek bike race, Point of Encounter and the Caribana Parade. Matias has also had a hand in the creation of a number of initiatives, activities and programs including Green Change, the Black Creek Farm, El Sistema, advertising for the Canada Learning Bond, and the Back to School Back Pack Give Away. He has also worked tirelessly in campaigns such as ACORN’s tenant advocacy work, the Refresh program and the campaign for recycling paper cups.
Matias has faced the challenges that are well known to many members of the community. Having immigrated to Canada in 1991 from Uruguay at the age of 11, Matias was raised by a single mother who worked as a social worker to support her family while living in rental housing. Matias has both an Honour’s and Masters Degree and is now a homeowner here in our community.