Eleven students from North Eleuthera High and 14 from Harbour Island All Age School made history as the first batch of participants on the island to receive Bronze from the Governor General’s Youth Award.
“I want to congratulate our participants on making a personal achievement,” said the programme’s national director, Denise Mortimer. “I encourage them to now strive for their Silver Award.”
The award ceremony took place November 7, during a youth rally held at the Harbor Island All Age School. All schools within the North Eleuthera district were in attendance.
The participants’ accomplishment demonstrates that persistence pays off, said Leslie Simmons, the GGYA director for Eleuthera’s northern district.
The GGYA programme is divided into four sections: service, skills, physical recreation and adventurous journey. The service component fosters a sense of responsibility to the
community, while the skills aspect develops a personal interest or vocational training. The physical component promotes a healthy lifestyle. Meantime, the adventurous journey (hiking) component cultivates resourcefulness, problem solving skills, environmental awareness and the importance of team work.
“They did an excellent job in terms of ensuring that they completed the programme,” said Ms Simmons, the vice principal at Harbour Island All Age School. “The participants displayed leadership skills and gained navigational and camping skills.”
GGYA unit leader for North Eleuthera High, Latanya Rolle echoed similar sentiments.
“I am proud of the participants’ achievements. They have made history in North Eleuthera High, being the first group to have earned the Award,” she said. “They have worked hard, always shown great commitment and enthusiasm, and had a great time while learning vital life skills.”
She’s looking forward to working with the Bronze Award holders as some pursue Silver.
The Harbour Island’s school GGYA unit leader, geography teacher Angirece Major felt like “a proud mother” when her group received their Award.
“The students worked tirelessly in all areas and as a result their hard work paid off,” said Ms Major. “I enjoy being a part of the GGYA program and I will continue to render my assistance in the future.”
With her Bronze Award in hand, 17-year-old Kendramae Barry said it’s something she can cross off her to-do list.
“Completing the Bronze level and receiving my award were one of my goals for 2012,” said the twelfth grade, Harbour Island student. “Throughout all the walking, talking, cramps, tiredness and those awful mosquito bites, [I came] to the end of the finish line and I won.”
Barry’s father, Gregory Higgs applauded his daughter’s accomplishment.
“It’s good to know there’s a programme like GGYA that can attract students and steer them in the right direction,” he said.
Thanks to a three-year partnership entered into with the Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture back in 2010, the GGYA has successfully attracted participants on more Family Islands. The G.O.L.D. Initiative has helped push the GGYA’s registration to just under 2,000 participants. Units are located on nine islands.
By Precision Media