Outstanding Student Pearson Gibbs getting an award from Minister of Youth, Stephen Lashley. (C. Pitt/BGIS)??

Approximately 1,870 young people have gained "educational advancement" through the Youth Mainstreaming Programme since 2008.

This disclosure came last evening from Minister of Youth, Stephen Lashley, as he addressed the Youth Mainstreaming Programme’s graduation at the Savannah Hotel.

Mr. Lashley pointed out that several of the graduates had continued their training, while others had secured jobs or started their own businesses. "I am sure that many of you are already putting things in place to put your face on the business map of Barbados, and I look forward to your arrival," he declared.

He said his Ministry had heard and responded to the needs of young people by providing the environment for them to gain the tools to reach for their stars, but they too had a responsibility to carry it to fruition.

"I reiterate that you must now take full advantage of what your current success affords you, grasp it with both hands and make it work for you. Yes, the officers of the Youth Mainstreaming Programme and the Division of Family and Youth will continue to support you, but your development and further achievement is more so up to you and your actions.

"Stay committed to your path to success and do not allow obstacles to strangle your determination. Remember the words of your tutors and Youth Officers and struggle through the tough times and advance firmly in the better times," he urged.

Mr. Lashley acknowledged that young people faced peculiar challenges, including the impact of the materialistic culture, which threatens to replace the traditional network of family, school and church.

He suggested that young people might miss opportunities to advance because of uncertainty and inconsistent decision-making. He explained that the Youth Mainstreaming Programme seeks to provide a second chance for affected youth to regenerate their strides, analyse and set goals and gain the skills needed to improve their lives.

Outstanding Student Nakita Graham accepting her award from Minister of Youth, Stephen Lashley. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

The Minister expressed his gratitude to the Programme’s institutional partners – the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, the Barbados Hospitality Institution, and ??the Barbados Vocational Training Board – for their work with the participants and said there was "so much more we would love to explore" with them.

"I am aware that already some discussions have been held as my Ministry explores self-employment projects in Agriculture, Culture, Digital Media, Electrical Installation, the Hospitality Industry, Nail Care, Cake & Pastry Making and Cosmetology. I look forward to continued discussions and the resulting synergies that I know will redound to a stronger Barbados," he declared.

Outstanding Student Javon Clarke receiving his award from??Minister Lashley. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Over 200 persons graduated last evening and those receiving the Outstanding Student awards were: Trisha Browne, Tamika Newton, Chinua Benjamin, Kevon Bascombe, Javon Clarke, Nakita Graham, Monique Roger-Taitt, Pearson Gibbs, Natasha Griffith, Anya Herbert, and Kelly-Anne Hall.


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