The brilliance of Secondary School Students who participated in the 2016 RBC Young Leaders Programme was rewarded during an impressive closing ceremony last week Wednesday at the Grenada Trade Centre in Grand Anse, St. George’s.
The students displayed a high level of leadership qualities through teamwork as they undertook the challenges of the programme under the theme, “Me…You…We, A Shared Vision For A Better Society.”
The students were challenged to find innovative ways to address negative self-image, and the behaviours that flow from them.
Over three hundred and fifty students from ten Secondary Schools accepted the task of becoming advocates for real change in themselves, and their communities through a variety of initiatives.
The three-member panel of judges headed by former TAMCC Lecturer, Desmond LaTouche registered their amasement over the level of seriousness exhibited and the professional approach embraced by “the Cabinet of Ministers” in the total execution of the 2015/2016 project.
However, at the end of the programme the Young Leaders of St. Joseph’s Convent, Grenville walked away with the Award of Distinction.
The Award of Excellence (second place) was presented to the Young Leaders of Anglican High School while Beacon High School Young Leaders received the Award of Merit (third place).
The Award of Honour (fourth placed school) went to the Young Leaders of St. Joseph Convent, St. George’s who left an impression on young men and boys whom their project targeted.
The Young Leaders of the St. Andrew’s Anglican Secondary School (SAASS), from among three other schools, received the Judges’ Award for 2015/2016.
SAASS went out of its way to building a community with threads of individuality, ingenuity and positivity.
According to LaTouche, the winning project exploited the strong impact and influence of sports as a united force, as well as combined sports with allegiance to schools, loyalty to community, and developed a spirit of patriotism.
Ten Secondary Schools participated in the programme.
The Chief Judge, however, lamented the reduction in the number of schools that participated in the programme.
Nevertheless, he said the decrease in schools’ participation was not indicative of the substance and quality of the projects presented for judging.
“Every project was uniquely conceived, well thought-out and amazingly developed. We were thrilled by the exploration into your future perspective of a shared vision for a better society,” he remarked.
LaTouche, now a religious preacher, is confident that Grenada now seems well positioned once the Young Leaders continue to build upon and strengthen those skills acquired during the tenure of their projects in spite of the visual cracks in the moral fabrics of the society.
Each of the students and coordinating teachers who lead the various groups were presented with certificates in appreciation of the work done.
Terique Reuben of Presentation Brothers College walked away with the prize for being the 2016 most outstanding Young Leader.
The significance of leadership was expounded throughout the ceremony by everyone who addressed the RBC Young Leaders.
Education Minister Anthony Boatswain who delivered the Feature Address underscored the value of teamwork, saying that today’s society is deeply in need of united support from the very young to the adults.
“Once we understand our roles and do have a shared vision, we can work together to achieve a better society for all,” he said.
The senior Government Minister said he trusts that as ideas came together as the students work on their projects, they should have learned the lesson that no one man or woman, boy or girl can do it alone.
He envisioned a very bright future for many of the students once they decide to pursue their creative talent with their academic advancement.
Minister Boatswain challenged the Young Leaders “to be true 21st century students” and to see themselves competing within the world that is without borders.
The bank’s Country Manager, Musa Jasat told the participants they have embraced and demonstrated what it means to be a young leader by moving beyond “I, you and we” by taking a stand for their school, community and country.
Jasat believes the students have found within themselves a culture of self-centeredness and negativity, and have tapped into the realm of positivity that can change the generation.
He defined leadership as not always a show of strength and that being a leader does not mean being in charge but a leader can be empathetic, soft-spoken, supportive, kind, or generous.
“Sometimes it’s that simple person who takes time to show a struggling classmate how to complete an assignment, or that volunteer for a charity project, or the unseen donor who gives up their allowance to raise funds for someone’s medical bill,” he said.
“A leader may be that girl who decides to quit the popularity contest. She is the one who says I don’t need negative challenge to prove my worth. I am somebody and here is my plan of where I am heading with or without you,” he added.
The RBTT Country Manager stressed that a leader can also be one who experience disconnect, isolation, and at times endure ridicule.
The Young Leaders are now challenged to venture out on a new theme for the 2016/2017 project.
The theme, which was unveiled during the 2015/2016 closing ceremony, is “I Am We – Volunteering For Impact.”