Youths gain leadership skills
February 27, 2015
Youths gain leadership skills

Youths, some 23 of them from throughout the region, are now better equipped to become effective leaders, after Rotary SVG held its first youth leadership conference over the weekend.

The young persons, aged 14 to 29, learned the skills needed for effective leadership during the Rotary-sponsored weekend conference, which took place from February 20 to 22 at the Blue Lagoon Hotel’s conference centre in Canash.{{more}}

Youth Service director of the local Rotary Club Joe Sheridan said that while the conference, known internationally as “RYLA,” has been around for a while, this is the first time that it has been held here.

RYLA provides education and training for young persons already showing leadership potential and Sheridan says that most of the participants are usually drawn from Rotaract and Interact Clubs and are already part of the “‘Rotary family,” which has its motto of “Service above self.”

Last weekend’s activity was sponsored by the three Rotary Clubs in SVG (Rotary Club of St Vincent, Rotary Club of St Vincent South and Rotary Club of Bequia).

“Those chosen to participate in RYLA learned from top-quality dynamic presenters on highly-relevant topics,” said Sheridan.

Topics included, the Fundamentals of Leadership, which was done by public relations officer of the Rotary Club and regional commercial manager at the St Vincent Brewery Shafia London-Williams; Building Self-Esteem and Confidence Building was delivered by Kenrick Quashie; Conflict-Management and Problem-Solving was done by Garcia Cato; and Qualities of a Servant-Leader by Natasha Jeffrey-Jackson.

He added that all the awardees were chosen and sponsored by Rotary Clubs in their home-countries.

“In addition to the hard-working sessions, the awardees were graciously hosted to a welcome reception by the Governor-General Sir Frederick Ballantyne at the Young Island Resort and a memorable sailing trip to Bequia. Many lasting friendships have been formed,” said Sheridan.

He added that the RYLA conference can be described as a great success, due to tremendous support from the Governor General, the Mustique Company Ltd, the SVG Tourism Authority, the St Vincent Brewery Ltd, LIME, Dr Camille Nicholls, Dr Timothy Providence, Choice Meats, Kingstown Co-op Credit Union, KPMG, Eveready Funeral Home, ECGC and the School for Children with Special Needs, among others.

“Rotary youth leadership awards are part of Rotary’s Youth Service programmes in SVG, where Rotary has been providing service above self since 1971. Rotary International itself celebrated 110 years of worldwide service on February 23 2015,” said Sheridan.

The RYLA participants came from Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines and according to Sheridan, they are expected to become future leaders in their career paths and civic society in their respective countries and in the wider Caribbean.