Barbados’ newest Peace Ambassador 12-year-old Emmanuel Cherubin of St. Leonard’s Boys’ School poses with his grandmother Dawn Johnson, following a brief presentation today. (GP)

For his “selfless act of rescuing an elderly man from the clutches of the underlying currents of the Caribbean Sea”, on Easter Monday of this year, Emmanuel Cherubin of St. Leonard’s Boys’ School was awarded the Schools Positive Behaviour Management Programme’s Peace Ambassador title today at his school, on Richmond Gap, St. Michael.

Chief Education Officer, Dr. Ramona Archer-Bradshaw, placed the sash on Emmanuel in a brief ceremony and praised him in front of his grandmother, Dawn Johnson, school mates, teachers, and principal, Stephen Scott.

She noted that the Ministry could not have imagined after sashing 13-year-old Najari Chase of Deighton Griffith Secondary School, with the title on Friday, April 8, after he had returned a lost wallet to a British visitor that “another distinguished student” would be given the designation of “Peace Ambassador 2022”, two months later.

“This speaks volumes for our youth and it tells me that our country is in safe hands,’” stressed Dr. Archer-Bradshaw, while also telling Emmanuel’s peers they too have the opportunity to be awarded the title as it is ascribed to any student between the ages of 10 and 18, who “would have demonstrated a positive action of national significance”.

Lauding the 12-year-old, Dr. Archer-Bradshaw recounted that his Principal, Stephen Scott, had shared with the Education Ministry that “Emmanuel is extremely respectful, helpful and is a responsible student”.

“He demonstrates these attributes by effectively performing any task given to him by his teachers.  I understand that Emmanuel’s modest nature is reflective in all that he does.  In the classroom, I am told, that he is a composed and calm student, who often goes unnoticed by his teachers. His peers think highly of him and describes him as ‘cool and friendly and respectful’, [someone] who likes music and Japanese games,” she stressed, while also noting that recently, when one of his classmates fell, he too received “much needed assistance” from Emmanuel.

Calling it a snapshot of the wonderful characteristics the young boy exhibits daily at school, she stated: “His wonderful act of bravery and helpfulness for which he is being recognised and awarded reflected a simple task of helpfulness which he is accustomed to performing at home with his family.  This action again made a positive impact on our Barbadian youth.”

Peace Ambassador Emmanuel Cherubin and grandmother Dawn Johnson pose with (from left to right) – Principal of the St. Leonard’s Boys’ School, Stephen Scott; Chief Education Officer, Dr. Ramona Archer-Bradshaw; and Education Officers, Yvette Estwick and Henderson Wiltshire, today. (GP)

Prior to accepting the sash, the second-former made the Peace Pledge to himself, his principal, teachers, parents, peers and the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training.  Afterwards, the Chief Education Officer urged him to continue being a positive influence within his family, his school and his community.

Earlier last month, Emmanuel was also the recipient of the Principal’s Award for his brave act. Principal Scott, while speaking to his charges during the event that reflected the school’s motto: Fear God, Think Clean, Aim High, said recognition for Emmanuel meant recognition for the school.  He also expressed pleasure that the Education Ministry had seen it fit to recognise the young man for his thoughtful act.

Meanwhile, former Chairman of the School’s Board of Management and representative for the area, Christopher Gibbs, in his remarks, shared that the school had a rich history of performing well, and Emmanuel, whom he had known for about three to four years, had “not only in height but in spirit shown exceptional maturity beyond his years to rise to the occasion and act so selflessly to come to the aid of someone who was in distress”. 

Thanking the Education Ministry for highlighting youngsters who perform acts of bravery, Mr. Gibbs noted it was “very important to do so” and stressed that ‘Manny’ (as he affectionately referred to him) was a pillar of the school and his community.

Emmanuel is now the fourth student to have received a Peace Ambassador award from the METVT.

The designation was first bestowed on Ayra Newton in 2018, then a student of Princess Margaret Secondary School.  She refused to retaliate to an act of bullying, choosing instead to walk away….  And, walk away she did, with credit to her name.

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