GHS takes RBC Young Leaders crown for 2014
June 13, 2014

GHS takes RBC Young Leaders crown for 2014

Loud cheers echoed throughout the Kingstown Methodist Church Hall on Wednesday, as the Girls’ High School (GHS) Young Leaders were announced as the 2014 winners of the RBC Young Leaders Programme.

This year’s group of young leaders managed to earn the Award of Distinction {{more}}with a number of interesting projects that were carried out to highlight the theme: “Diversity – A 21st Century Imperative.”

“It’s very exhilarating. We’ve been waiting for a very long time, but now we have it, it feels good,” vice-president Mikhailla Matthias told SEARCHLIGHT about their achievement.

President Justene Farrell declared that she could not explain what it felt like to be winners of the 2014 RBC Young Leaders programme, but stated that putting in a lot of hard work had paid off.

“It was a lot of work and a lot of time. You had to balance school work and young leaders. It was very difficult. Sometimes you felt like you wanted to give up and just drop it, but then as time progressed, it became a bit easier,” she said.

The GHS Young Leaders, who placed third in last year’s programme, carried out a number of projects, including a visit to the Sunny Vale Primary School on Valentine’s Day to deliver cards to the students as well as visits to the Thompson Home and Lewis Punnett Home.

A Social Sciences trip to Trinidad and Tobago also afforded a number of young leaders the opportunity to educate themselves on the religious diversity that is present in that twin-island state and visit places of worship, including a Hindu temple.

As a way of bringing persons together, the GHS young leaders also created a space in their school called “D-Block”, which serves as an area for all students to mingle with each other in a central eating area.

The Intermediate High School Young Leaders were able to walk away with the second place Award of Excellence while the third place Award of Merit was presented to the Adelphi Secondary School Young Leaders.

This year, the feature address was delivered by magistrate and chief commissioner of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Girl Guide Association Rechanne Browne-Matthias.

In her address, Browne-Matthias focused on the importance of diversity in order to foster a healthy and thriving society.

Using a number of examples, the magistrate highlighted that a diverse group often produces the best results.

“If one member suffers, all suffer together and if one member is honoured, all rejoice together,” she explained. “On the announcement of the results, it will show that this was not an individual effort, but a collaborative effort where varying ideas and opinions were expressed to create the end product in which you may rejoice.”

Browne-Matthias took the opportunity to urge the audience to look around the room and realize that no two persons are the same as they come from different backgrounds and have different experiences.

“Therefore, since diversity is a 21st century imperative, this year, as you would have worked on your respective projects, your social consciousness would have awakened,” she said.

The magistrate acknowledged the participation of eight secondary schools among the 26 secondary institutions in the country. She stated that this representation was unfortunate as it was not a diverse one.

She declared that “in diversity, there is beauty and strength”, and urged persons to embrace all members of society no matter their diverse background.

“While we are all different and different factors influence us, we are still very similar members of the human race with various skills and life experiences that may be applied to any challenge to have meaningful results. Diversity is not only the nice thing to do but a must do for the stability of our communities and civilization,” Matthias said.

Senior Education Officer for Secondary Schools, Asfo Stephens and the country manager of RBTT Bank Caribbean Ltd, Fleur Nichols also delivered remarks during Wednesday’s prize giving ceremony.

“Digital Citizenship – Responsibly Navigating Technology” is theme for the 2015 installment of the RBC Young Leaders programme.(BK)