HSBC Sponsors Two Students For Tall Ships

October 22, 2017

In July of this year, HSBC Bermuda sponsored two of Family Centre’s Youth Leadership Academy students to participate in an international Tall Ships experience.

Youth Leadership Academy [YLA] is a 3-phase/ 5 year leadership training programme targeting at-risk youth who are unlikely to participate in other youth programmes. The programme is strength based and rooted in the philosophy that all youth deserve the opportunity to fulfill their leadership potential.

Dr. Sandy De Silva, Director of Services for Family Centre, said, “We are very grateful to HSBC for their generous donation of funds that enabled two of our Youth Leadership Academy students to participate in the Tall Ships programme. Family Centre’s Youth Leadership Academy aims to expose youth to a broad range of opportunities and transformative experiences.”

Leila Wadson, Community Team Leader for Family Centre, added, “This opportunity directly aligned with our programme’s objectives as it opened doors for practicing skill-building and promoted leadership. The young people returned reporting that the experience was a life-changing opportunity that they will never forget and are inspired to repeat the experience next year.”

A spokesperson said, “The Sail Training Association of Bermuda works to provide opportunities for young people from Bermuda to become trainees on sail training vessels participating in races and festivals in Europe and North America.

“These opportunities aim to enhance the leadership skills in participants by teaching responsibility, teamwork and confidence. The two participating students, Gershonae Tait, 16 years old, and Ronica Campbell, 17 years old, sailed on the Gulden Leeuw from Quebec City to Halifax during the last week of July.”

Ms. Tait said, “This trip was the best. I learned different sails and knots and that I am more capable than I thought I was.”

She encouraged others to participate in the programme, adding, “It can help you find yourself and gain really strong connections with people from around the world. The best part of the trip was meeting so many new people.”

Ms. Campbell agreed, stating, “It was a good experience for me, even though we had to wake up really early to do chores. The best thing about the trip was making new friends. What I will remember the most is all of the laughs that we had throughout the trip.”

Mark Watkinson, CEO, HSBC Bermuda said, “To mark the start of the new academic year, HSBC was pleased to offer a unique Leadership opportunity to some very deserving individuals, to help set them on the right path for future success.

“This opportunity presented itself via the bank’s partnership with The Family Centre and supported Youth Development Zone initiatives, which enabled Ronica and Gershonae to participate in the Tall Ships Leadership Sailing Programme.

“Instilling confidence in programme participants in a team focused environment where they can develop key skills such as capacity-building, will serve them well in the future. We hope that this great opportunity created positive and lasting impressions for Ronica and Gershonae and we wish them the very best as they begin their school year.”

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