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Eyes on the prize – Back to School Message

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by CARICOM Youth Ambassador, R.Tamira L.V. Browne Tue, Sept 4, 2012

Many of our nation’s youth are excited and eagerly anticipating their return to the classroom on Monday, 3rd September, 2012. On the other hand, some students may be a bit timid and a feeling of uncertainty daunts the beginning of another school year. As you embark on a new school year, be not afraid of the many challenges that may arise; instead be prepared to conquer every challenge with the energy, enthusiasm and drive built over the summer vacation.{{more}}

As you go back to school, I challenge you to pursue excellence—excellence in your academic work; excellence in your sporting activities and excellence in all of your extra-curricular involvement. As you embark on this new school year, pay significant attention to your academic development, but ensure that you become involved in some extra-curricular activity to develop your talents and potential.

Over the last year, we have heard about the feats of our youth in education and sport, namely Sunil Ambris in cricket, Brandon Parris in athletics and Nicky Ann Stephens. In academia, we can emulate and surpass the work of Iana Fergusson, Cherriane Davis, Utamu Rose, Sandrina James-Hamilton, Ashanna Samuel-Jack, Khandi Gordon and Israel Carr. There are many other Vincentian youth who have excelled. Congratulations must be extended to everyone who achieved success in their academic and extra-curricular work.

You too can become an icon of excellence, if you are determined to work tirelessly with a disciplined and focused approach. Turn up your SWAG and become a Student With A Goal and work towards that goal, so that you are eligible for scholarships and so that you can work towards a satisfying and rewarding career. Remember, saving for your future pursuits is important now as well.

In this academic year, I urge you to leave out violence in any form or fashion, as well as any negative and destructive thoughts and behaviours. Do not become involved in bullying, gambling, sexual immorality, smoking and alcoholism. Remember to respect your teachers, well-wishers, fellow students and yourselves. As a student, you have the ability to build a strong reputation that could help to construct your future. Rise to the occasion and pursue excellence in every regard.

This year, for the first time, the CARICOM Youth Ambassador Award of Excellence would be granted to one male and one female of our very outstanding youth at the secondary level in fifth form. The award would be granted to students who have been doing good academic work, involved in enterprise, sport and extra-curricular activities.

As CARICOM Youth Ambassador 2012 I look forward to working collaboratively with you to optimize learning opportunities for all students. I am confident that by working together, we will keep our eyes on the prize!!

I wish you a successful 2012-2013 school year.

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