Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 13, 2012 (SKNIS):
“Being a Remarkable Teen is an honour and a privilege … and you should take that as an opportunity to be a role model to all the other children out there who want to be in the same position.” That advice was shared by 2011 awardee Trevaun Williams as he prepares to induct a member of this year’s 25 Most Remarkable Teens in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Williams and other awardees from last year will read profiles of the new successful candidates, who will be recognized by members of the Federal Parliament during a special sitting on Wednesday evening (November 14) to pay tribute to the 2012 class.
This marks the second year the nontraditional award ceremony is being held after a successful introduction in 2011. The launch of the programme in St. Kitts and Nevis was spearheaded by Peace Corps Volunteer Connie Howard, who is attached to the local Department of Youth Empowerment. Upon her arrival, Ms. Howard had a conversation with the Minister responsible for youth, Honourable Glenn Phillip about recognizing the positive accomplishments of various youth. A decision was made to implement the 25 Most Remarkable Teen programme which was established in California, USA, several years ago. Its approach was attractive as it engaged youth as part of the solution to social ills affecting young people and tapped their creative energies to promote positive change.
“The programme in St. Kitts and Nevis has met all my expectations both in the response to the programme and the interest of the community in nominating people,” Ms. Howard stated. “My theory is … that kids everywhere are made of the same stuff – that doesn’t change, and there have been no differences from my point of view.”
This is likely the last activity coordinated by a Peace Corps Volunteer in the near future as the organization is scheduled to leave the twin-island Federation this year. In fact, Ms. Howard’s service officially ended on October 14, but she requested and received an extension to stay on to see this process through and pass the torch to the Youth Department staff.
The November 14 ceremony is the beginning of a new life for the successful candidates. The young people must participate in three additional components of the programme, training, leadership development and volunteerism. Honorees selected will work together over the next year as members of the Most Remarkable Teen Council – a peer leadership group supported by the Department of Youth Empowerment.
“My advice is to … keep your composure at all times,” said Desi Brown, the outgoing President of the Teen Council. “Ensure that you present yourself as a respectable young person and … have lots of fun…”
The council members spoke excitedly about several activities that they participated in including a beach cleanup and a birthday party for youth residing in the Children’s Home. Teen Council Secretary Renecia McDonald said the latter activity really “touched” her and left a lasting impact.
“I know they (the new honourees) are going to enjoy the experience and my advice is to tell them to keep on doing what they’re doing that earned them this award,” she stressed. “Just because you have been recognized is not a reason to stop. Continue being remarkable, I intend to” she concluded. Renecia McDonald – Teen Council Secretary