SCPD Lauded For Its Work With At-Risk Youth

Melissa Rollock Top Stories

Valedictorian, Seth Lashley, is all smiles as he receives one of his many trophies from Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw. (GP)

The work which Supreme Counselling for Personal Development (SCPD) is doing in schools to curb bullying and other behavioural problems has come in for high praise from Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training (METVT), Santia Bradshaw.

The programme has been such a success in the few schools where it is currently instituted that the Ministry is planning to expand it to benefit more young people.

Minister Bradshaw made this commitment while delivering the feature address at the graduation ceremony for approximately 50 students of SCPD’s Project Rescue Programme last Saturday at the Accra Beach Resort, Rockley, Christ Church.  It was held under the theme: The Next Chapter.

Valedictorian for the 2018 graduating class was Seth Lashley who took home the Humanitarian Award and the CEO’s Award which was also awarded to David Clarke. Most Improved Female was Reyann Wickham while Most Improved Male went to Reynardo Wickham.

Ms. Bradshaw told the audience that her experience with Supreme Counselling started long before she became Minister of Education. She explained that she met the CEO of the company, Shawn Clarke, a few years ago while helping at-risk youth in her constituency who were falling through the cracks and felt as though the system was failing them.

The Education Minister said while Supreme Counselling had been working effectively within specific schools, it was not given the recognition that it deserved.

“I give you…the assurance that as Minister of Education, I will do my level best to ensure that Supreme Counselling and its programme are not just a part of the system for a few schools in this country. We recognise that this programme is necessary for the personal development of our young people across the board. When I listened to the valedictorian, when I listened to the two [testimonial] videos, it tells me that the impact which this programme is making on the lives of the children is second to none.

“The Ministry of Education has had a long relationship with Supreme Counselling. The work that they are doing in the schools with the guidance counsellors is commendable. It is a solution-focused partnership and these types of partnerships are encouraged. The efforts to move beyond problem identification to active intervention to effect positive change in the lives of many of our young people is laudable,” the Minister stated.

Ms. Bradshaw said the Ministry’s recently launched anti-violence campaign which is being executed under the Schools’ Positive Behaviour Management Programme, was just one aspect of the Ministry of Education’s fight against violence, bullying and indiscipline.

She added that the Ministry welcomed assistance from Non-Governmental Organisations such as Supreme Counselling who were willing to collaborate with it through empowerment programmes for students.

The Education Minister told the graduates that they had been afforded “an excellent opportunity to see life beyond mistakes” through the Project Rescue Programme. She emphasised that “slip-ups” did not define who they were or who they had the capacity to become.

“Your participation in this programme would have been initiated because you made mistakes or needed some guidance. Think about who you were before you entered this programme and ask yourself, ‘How have I become something better?’. ‘What will the next chapter look like?’ I want to tell you not to let one bad chapter in your book of life define the rest of your life. The key is to learn from the chapter and rewrite your story,” Ms. Bradshaw advised.

melissa.rollock@barbados.gov.bb

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