In front of a panel of officials from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and from the Ministry of Education, 40 participants in the National Youth Leaders Certification Course were awarded certificates of completion and certificates of participation, during a ceremony that took place in the morning of July 18.
The event was held at the Anglican Church Parish Hall and was moderated by one of the participants, Whitney Bain. Many other participants held a role in the ceremony from the invocation prayer by Andrew Lowe, the welcome remarks by Patricia Saunders, the interpretation of a musical selection by Tanna Newbold, to a message from the graduates by Theresa Simms, the vote of thanks by Rebecca Knowles and the benediction by Pastor Machuel Pinder.
The District Superintendent of Education, Dr. Lenora Black presented a speech, in turn praising the participants for the role they had chosen to play in the lives of young people, giving them words of advice and reminding them of the commitment they had pledged by accepting to become youth leaders.
“Don’t turn a blind eye to what is in front of you; a visionary leader must see the big picture; a leader must have a contingency plan and always think out of the box. A leader must be organized and ready to complete the job. Take leadership to another dimension,” she said.
The Deputy Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Petra Rahming, came from Nassau to represent the Minister, the Hon. Daniel Johnson and the Director of Youth, Darron Turnquest, who were unable to attend the function.
Rahming congratulated the participants and gave information on the program, saying that it had been implemented so far in four of the Family Islands: Andros, Abaco, Grand Bahama and Long Island. She advised the graduates to be creative and to embrace the kids in spite of their attitudes and way of speech, which have changed so much since the first time the program was offered, ten years ago.
“Develop skills and create an innovative approach to the process of training,” she told them.
She also reminded the participants that they had the full support of the Ministry as far as supplies and technical resources were concerned.
“Leaders, I empower you to impact the next generation,” Rahming said.
Fifteen participants (Jeffenique Nottage, Mathilde Diejuste, Sheri Lowe, Andrew Lowe, Samantha Evans, Patricia Sounders, Rashel Martin, Patrick Huyler, Machuel Pinder, Christine Bostwick, Peggy Albury, Vanessa Mc Andrew, Georgia Williams, Marcia Russell and Whelma Colebrook) were handed out certificates of completion and 25 received certificates of participation. The diplomas were handed out by Joshua Smith, Dr. Lenora Black, Petra Rahming and Patti Miller, also with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.