PRESS RELEASE – Empowering youth to reach their full potential through education and other outreach programs continues to be a primary focus of the Sandals Foundation activities in Saint Lucia.
This comes through the recentadoption of the Positive Youth Anticipation (PYA) Project that is being administered by The School of Business Entrepreneurs (TSOBE).
This initiative, which is set to run over a course of one year, will reach approximately 120 at risk boys, with at least 40 being targeted from seven to 10 secondary schools from across the country every school term.
A price of more than EC$45,000 has been tagged to the program for one full school year and the Sandals Foundation has committed to funding fully the first of the three terms at a cost of just over EC$15,000.
It is designed not only to influence a positive change, but also to foster and encourage the possibility of its participants to further impact the lives of other vulnerable and at-risk students.
Director of the Foundation Heidi Clarke pointed to the importance of self-awareness in today’s youth and the creation of environments that will allow them to make positive and informed decisions that will ultimately affect their placement in society as they grow older.
“Moves like these are always encouraging and we anxiously await the outcome of the first leg of this journey. The Board of Directors of the Sandals Foundation is fully behind this program since the youth – after all – are not just adults in the making, they are people whose current needs and rights and experiences must be taken seriously,” Clarke said.
She cited the relevance of the project considering the current economic climate in the Caribbean and its effect on youth employment and development.
The Secondary Schools selected to be part of the program include the George Charles Secondary School, Corinth Secondary School, Leon Hess Secondary School, Ciceron Secondary School, St. Mary’s College, Gros Islet Secondary School, Entrepot Secondary School, Vide Boutielle Secondary School, Bocage Secondary School, Marigot Secondary School, Baboneau Secondary School, and Sir Ira Simons Secondary School.
Each School will select three (3) students with the exception of Vide Boutiell, which requested that a forth student be included.
The PYA will run for five days each school term and will featurevisits to the Bordelais Correctional Facility. It will also include testimonial and motivational talks from inmates and facilitate sessions on dream building, SWOT Analysis, Goal Setting, Business Planning, and Personal Development.
Conflict Management, Motivation and a Self Talk will also be key focuses of the program.
According to Janelle Sealy, Project Manager at TSOBE, “These empowered students will be expected to do some deep introspection and further grasp a greater appreciation for their freedom, life, opportunities, future goals, required decisions and expected results.”
Sealy added that the initiative is expected to provide a “reality check” for each participating student while allowing them to see and realize their true potential within their individual communities and the country as a whole.
“They will see how possible it is for them to change their mindset, decisions and ultimately life around them,” Sealy said.
The Sandals Foundation stands by the adage that education and empowerment at all levels provides the greatest opportunities for positive change for both individuals and nations throughout the Caribbean.
The Foundation is focused on ensuring that every child, youth and adult have the educational opportunities they need to reach their full potential.