"I was born in Catherine Booth Hospital in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on April 6, 1959, the first son of Bernard and Beverly Downes." Thus begins my biography. I feel fortunate to have grown up in an environment where learning and independence are of value. "The role of education is to make the child reflective and articulate, and to achieve this goal education does not have to start from scratch. Children are endowed to think: our job is to build on their innate capacity by giving it an opportunity to flourish." This should be the right of every child, and to not have to depend on where you were born or who your parents are - and that, to me, is probably the biggest lesson of my birth.