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Georgetown Secondary School are top 2016 Young Leaders

Georgetown Secondary School  are top 2016 Young Leaders

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For the first time in the history of its participation, the Georgetown Secondary School (GSS) has been awarded the prestigious top spot in the 2016 RBC Young Leaders programme.

Having gained the judges’ nod, the group of 19 GSS Young Leaders walked away with the Award of Distinction last Thursday, June 16, at a closing ceremony held at the Peace Memorial Hall.

Makeisha Bobb, a teacher at the school and the group’s coordinator, told SEARCHLIGHT that she is very “elated and happy” at her students’ achievement.{{more}}

“All of the hard work has paid off, as they have been working tirelessly for a couple of months. They are very happy,” said an enthusiastic Bobb.

In 2013, the GSS Young Leaders placed second in the annual programme – also under the guidance of Bobb.

Using the sub-theme ‘Harnessing the zest in us; bringing out the best in you’ for its project, the group used six objectives to complete a number of activities aimed at improving their community.

These activities included a gospel concert, fund-raising events, and a floodlight football match. There were also community outreach visits to the Lewis Punnett Home, the Golden Age Centre (Mount Young), the St Benedict’s Children’s Orphanage, and a major clean-up campaign focused on helping to eradicate the Zika virus.

In addition to this, they penned and performed a song, in conjunction with the school’s music band, established a school magazine; set up a homework club for primary school students in the area; and painted a mural on the school compound – among other activities.

Bobb explained: “We wanted to inspire the young people of North Windward and North Central Windward to explore their talents.”

The theme for this year’s national RBC Young Leaders programme was ‘Me, you, we – a shared vision for a better society’.

Second place was awarded to the St Vincent Grammar School Young Leaders; third place went to the Emmanuel High School Mesopotamia; and fourth place was taken by the Girls’ High School.

The Most Outstanding Young Leader award was presented to Dave Sutton, of the Georgetown Secondary School, while the Judges’ Award was taken by the Intermediate High School.

At the closing ceremony last Thursday, the feature address was delivered by Carla James, director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

Describing the programme as a “marvellous initiative”, James lauded the students who participated, and encouraged the teachers and coordinators to continue guiding each year’s participants throughout the annual programme.

“As young people… it is easy to get swept up in following the crowd. Many of you are struggling with finding a sense of identity, who you are, who you should be, what subjects to write for CSEC, or what career paths to take,” the FIU director said.

“It is overwhelming and, quite frankly, exhausting. I am here today to tell you to dare to be different. Dare to be a leader, and not a follower!”

Urging students to shirk mediocrity and reach instead for excellence, she reminded students that achieving their goals is often hard work, with pitfalls along the way; but the only way to succeed to is keep going and not giving up.

“In the words of the Chinese philosopher and teacher Confucius, our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

James also urged students to stick to the straight and narrow path in life, resisting the temptation of getting involved in dishonest activities to gain “quick money,” as said activities usually come with negative, long-lasting repercussions.

RBTT Bank Caribbean Ltd country manager Fleur Nichols, in brief welcome remarks, urged the various Young Leaders to exhibit leadership skills in all that they do, cautioning them that this is not always the easy path to take in life.

“Today, you are here because you have embraced and demonstrated what it means to be Young Leaders. You have decided to move beyond the ‘I’ and ‘you’ to the ‘we’. You have taken a stand for your schools, your community and your country,” she noted.

“Every project has provided great learning for the respective participants, and while we can’t all win, they all add value to the ongoing quest to build a stronger, better St Vincent and the Grenadines for all.”

Brief remarks were delivered by senior education officer (secondary schools) Kay Martin-Jack, who congratulated all the schools (both students and teachers) that took part in this year’s programme, highlighting some of the benefits that should have been derived by participating students.

The other participating schools this year were the George Stephens Secondary School, the Intermediate High School, the JP Eustace Memorial Secondary School, the St Martin’s Secondary School, the Thomas Saunders Secondary School, the Troumaca Ontario Secondary School, the West St George Secondary School and the Union Island Secondary School.

At the closing ceremony, Ercelle Thomas, head of the programme’s judges’ panel, also provided feedback on the projects submitted by the various schools.

The theme for next year’s RBC Young Leaders programme is ‘I am we – volunteering for impact’. (JSV)

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