Member of Parliament (MP) for Central & South Abaco James Albury visited the students and staff of Every Child Counts (ECC) on May 31 to present a monetary donation to the school. He was accompanied by Jackie Sawyer and Felicia McIntosh of the Office of the Prime Minister.
Principal Lyn Major introduced special guests in the audience from Youth On A Mission (YOAM), who were volunteering at the school as they construct their assisted living facility. The YOAM team is based in Vero Beach, and were happy to partner with ECC as “part of a circle of love that keeps on giving back.”
Before they arrived, Major explained that there were 17 students from Ryerson University, who had spent five weeks at the school assisting the staff and students in various capacities.
She then introduced seven young men from the 2018 graduating class, whom she described as leaders in the school to share how their lives have been impacted during their time at ECC. Keith Clarke and Jacob Prenelus Jr. were the ones to speak, both agreeing that ECC has been a vital part of their lives over the years.
Keith added that he has seen and benefitted from the good things that the school has done firsthand, and that he would not have had the opportunities he’s had if it wasn’t for ECC. He concluded that any help given to the school would be greatly appreciated because there are others whose disabilities are greater than theirs, so he would like to see their lives made easier.
Turning the floor over to Albury, he expressed his deep appreciation for what ECC does for the community. He also commended Major for touching so many lives although she does not seek credit or the spotlight for her actions.
“I have a profound sense of appreciation for what the school does,” he emphasized. “I will always find ways to support ECC even though it may not be a lot. I want these funds to take them to the next level with their assisted living facility.”
As he pledged his ongoing support as an individual and as a government representative, Albury presented Major with a cheque for $25,000 from the Constituency Fund, which he said he hopes goes a long way in helping the school to reach its goal.
Pastor Earlyn Baillou, the general contractor for ECC’s assisted living facility, shared brief remarks before leading the tour to the building. He explained that the facility will accommodate eight to 10 people, and that the long-term view for the facility encompasses longevity.