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SVGS announced as winners of 2015 RBC Young Leaders programme

SVGS announced as winners of 2015 RBC Young Leaders programme


The celebration for the St Vincent Grammar School (SVGS) started even before they were announced as the 2015 winners of the RBC Young Leaders programme.

When the winning citation was being read at the RBC Young Leaders’ award ceremony on Wednesday, students from the all-boy {{more}}institution were already making celebratory noises which echoed through the Peace Memorial Hall.

In keeping with their expectations, the judges agreed that the performance of the SVGS surpassed nine other schools to earn them the Award of Distinction.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT, this year’s president, Alron Harry described the feeling of winning as a satisfactory experience, given the large amount of effort that the group put into their project this year to reflect the theme, “Digital Citizenship: Responsibly navigating technology.”

“Really, it’s just a matter of reaping what we’ve sown, so, satisfaction over anything else,” he said.

“Technology really has changed the way in which we go about living and it’s really important for us to know how to navigate it responsibly and use it to the best of its ability and purpose for which it was made.”

The president noted that the topic was very important, particularly since many children are now becoming exposed to various forms of technology through the ‘One Laptop per Child’ initiative. He highlighted the importance of being able to execute a project that educated them on how to navigate and use those tools responsibly.

According to Harry, this is also the reason that his team attempted to tackle the theme from so many different angles.

“We didn’t really want to limit the word ‘technology’ to the Internet alone. When we researched, we found out…it’s a big misconception that people have that the Internet is what is meant by technology,” explained.

As part of their project, the 2014/2015 SVGS young leaders hosted a national technology symposium on March 24 for other young leader groups and members of the public to be enlightened with speeches from individuals representing different technological entities in the country.

They also published articles in the various newspapers in St Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as on their social media pages. Visual tech-talks were also posted on Youtube.

The group also outfitted one of their school’s biology laboratories with a projector, projector screen and speakers to provide visual and auditory aids to the teaching and learning experience.

After taking the first position last year, the Girls’ High School Young Leaders had to settle for second place and the Award of Excellence for their project.

The St Joseph’s Convent Kingstown placed third this year and received the Award of Merit.

Jamal Browne, project officer for Land and Global Land Tool Network Unity at the Urban Legislation, Land and Governance Branch in Nairobi, Kenya was this year’s featured speaker.

Browne, a past young leader and SVGS student, told participants that the world’s population is living in a new age of technological convenience.

Using statistics, the guest speaker observed that the global number of internet users has moved from one billion to three billion persons in one decade, with the current number reflecting 40 per cent of the world’s population.

He explained that these figures were indicative of the extent to which digital technology was consuming one’s daily life.

In his speech, Browne also encouraged students to use their lives as an example of being a good digital citizens, as one’s use of technology can impact their lives greatly.

“There is an ever increasing trend for hired managers, international scholarship committees and award panels to run social network checks on applicants as our social networking activities are viewed as expressions and extensions of who we truly are. I therefore advise each of you to think very carefully before making your next Facebook, Twitter or Instagram posting. You can start by asking yourself a very important question, what image of myself do I wish to portray?” he said.

However, the consultant urged students not to view that fact as a restraint, but rather as an opportunity to portray the best of themselves to the world.

Chief education officer Lou-Anne Gilchrist and RBTT Bank Caribbean Ltd country manager Fleur Nichols also delivered remarks at Wednesday’s event.

The St Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua received the Judges’ Award.

The other participating schools in this year’s programme were Adelphi Secondary, Central Leeward Secondary, St Martin’s Secondary, Bethel High School and the George Stevens Sr Secondary.(BK)