On the evening of June 4, twenty six students from three local schools- SC Bootle, Abaco Central High School and Forest Heights Academy- were awarded their Governor General’s Youth Award (GGYA) Bronze Completion.
The ceremony took place at St. John the Baptist Parish Hall in front of a full audience of parents, teachers and dignitaries.
Orchestrated by Unit Leader and Principal of Forest Heights Academy, James Richard, the evening proceeded with the singing of the National Anthem, a prayer and a welcome address by Everette Mackey, Treasurer, GGYA National Council.
Three students from Forest Heights Academy, six students from Abaco Central High School and seventeen youths from SC Bootle High School, proudly received their certificates of completion.
Administrator Preston Cunningham, who was the guest speaker, praised the value of the program, saying that the children’s involvement in GGYA will bring change for good in the areas where they live. He also praised the people responsible for bringing GGYA to Abaco.
“I hope this program will go a long way in instilling in you a sense of responsibility and self-motivation.” he told the children, adding that he was happy at having to hand them out them their awards.
The ceremony continued with a video presentation relating the history of GGYA, beginning with its creation in Nassau in 1987 and its expansion to other islands of the archipelago. There are now forty nine units in The Bahamas with 1,658 active participants.
The organization celebrated its twenty fifth anniversary in 2012.
The National Executive Director, Denise Mortimer, acknowledged each group leader by name. Besides Mr. Richard, also present were Michelle Bailey, leader of the Abaco Central High School group, and Kalwashan, leader of the SC Bootle contingent. She praised them for their dedication and thanked all the volunteers who helped with the program. She then organized photo-taking, having each school’s students posing with their leader, the administrator and members of the delegation from Nassau.
The ceremony was followed by a buffet.
To receive the Bronze Award, the students were required to participate for three months in physical recreation, in skill activities for three months; to enter an adventurous journey of two days- one night hiking for 15 miles or more and camping; to do community service for three months and keep a diary, plus another three months in either physical recreation, skill or service.