IHS launches Young Leaders programme
February 25, 2014

IHS launches Young Leaders programme

After an eight-year hiatus from the RBC Young Leaders competition, the Intermediate High School have returned with their take on this year’s theme, “Diversity: The 21st Century Imperative.”{{more}}

Yesterday, the IHS young leaders officially launched their programme under the subtheme “Socio- Economic Diversity; varying family structures, collective strengths, bridging the gap to benefit all.”

Perry Burke, past student and owner of Perry’s Customs and Shipping Agency Ltd, delivered the feature address at the launch.

In his address, Burke spoke of his socio-economic background and the importance of not letting where you come from hamper what you can achieve in the future.

Burke, who is also the chief instructor at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Shotokan Karate Club, told students that he is the person who he is today because persons like his parents and principal believed in him.

“I also have to credit my parents for the type of upbringing I had,” he said. “My parents were ambitious. They only went to primary school, but they already had plans for us children. They made sure that all of us went to a secondary school.”

Having come from a lower class family, the featured speaker recalled how his mother always made sure that her six children were cared for and how her determination made him want to be a better person.

“Use this opportunity you have in school now, as a stepping stone for brighter things in the future,” Burke said. “Sometimes, someone will tell you [that] you can’t do something. Work at it. If it’s something positive, show them that you can. If it is something negative, show them that you are still strong enough to say no”.

As a way of helping to motivate the students, Burke offered IHS students who were interested in karate, the opportunity to train for free with his karate class, which takes place at the school on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

Orlicia King, the president, stated that socio-economic diversity is one of the main indicators of status in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Furthermore, she noted that low socio-economic positions in St Vincent and the Grenadines stem from factors such as poor education, lack of amenities, unemployment and unsafe neighbourhoods having an impact on family life.

With this in mind, King outlined some of the projects that will be carried out by the IHS young leaders, with respect to their theme.

The major projects comprise the implementation of a breakfast programme; assisting parents of IHS students with literacy and numeracy classes; and developing a mentorship programme.

“We are aware that students come to school without a proper breakfast and since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we decided to assist in this regard.

“We have also decided to assist parents or guardians of students at the Intermediate High School… in areas of literacy and numeracy, because we are aware that due to illiteracy, parents are unable to assist their children with homework,” King said.

“A mentorship programme will also be done where selected students will be adopted and mentored by prominent persons in society, so that they will become the best persons that they can be.” (BK)