A group of approximately thirty people – teachers, schools and church counselors and youth group directors among others – attended three sessions aimed at helping them understand young people.
Deann Johnson presented the first session, which was held at St John’s Parish Hall on June 23. The presentation dealt with the personalities of today youth and underlined the role of a youth group.
The second session was geared at teaching youth leaders how to resolve conflicts, to build their organization and enroll support of local and international organizations. Presented by the Director of Youth, Darron Turnquest, the presentation was held at Abaco Central High School on June 30.
In order to help resolve conflicts, said Turnquest, the participants must learn to teach young people how to compromise and they must be in control themselves. They should be able to map the resources available to youth organizations, identify resources in the private sectors, such as churches, schools, banks and small companies and more over learn how to collaborate with one another.
They should also be able to properly put their objective in writing, identifying what is needed to be done to enroll people as well as selling the idea of their organization. A formal proposal, composed of an introduction and a budget rational requesting assistance, should state the achievement objective and be incorporated into the grant request.
The last session was presented by Alvado Turnquest, a psychologist with BTVI, who is a counselor at Simpson Penn High center for Boys in Nassau and also lectures in Social Sciences at the College of The Bahamas.
His presentation dealt with the problems encountered among kids as a group leader, such as substance abuse, whether alcohol or drugs. “Do not try to stop an addict, but try to find an adequate rehabilitation program”, he said. He suggested to invite parents to youth groups meeting and to use ways of involving them in their child’s life, as parents are not always aware of what goes on in their children’s life.
Turnquest explained how to recognize the symptoms of intoxication and also of child abuse and molestation. He suggested that the proper course of action was to report it to Social Services. He advised the future youth group leaders not to blindly trust church pastors.
“Not every pastor is a counselor and not every Social Services employee is competent” he warned. “Use sound judgment when referring children to an organization. Know who you are sending your children to” he urged.
Turnquest hoped that there will be follow-up sessions to refresh and reinforce the group’s recently acquired knowledge.
The people who attended all three sessions will receive their graduation certificates during a ceremony to be held in the morning of July 18.