When Mark Clayton dropped out of school in Grade 8 after repeatedly being suspended for bad behavior, few ever expected he would return to Britannia. And yet he came back years later to graduate, surprising even himself in the process.
During his absence from school, Clayton ran into his fair share of problems with the law. But after being a victim of crime himself, he decided it was time to turn over a new leaf.
With the support of his long-time girlfriend, Clayton returned to Britannia, where he entered the Outreach program. He credits the program's teachers with helping him re-discover his Lil-wat heritage, which he believes gave him a new more positive direction in life.
Post-graduation, after taking classes at Langara College, Clayton now works at the Britannia Teen Centre providing support and mentorship to kids dealing with tough life choices. He believes that sharing his personal story of transformation is one of the best tools he has to connect with the teens he works with.
In addition to being a community leader, Clayton is also a respected athlete. He currently plays and coaches hockey, volleyball and basketball. In recognition of his amazing transformation, and for the positive contributions he now makes to the Britannia community, he was selected to bear the Olympic torch when it came to Vancouver in 2010.
"It was one of the coolest things I ever did," he said.