Students Attend Youth Empowerment Summit

March 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

Providing the tools for solid leadership skills was the purpose of the Youth Empowerment Summit [YES!] held Friday [March 15] at the Hamilton Princess hotel.

Over 100 student leaders from all primary, middle and high schools in the Bermuda Public School System participated in an event designed specifically to develop and broaden leadership skills.

The Minister of Education Diallo Rabain stated, “This government recognises the responsibly we have to ensure our future leaders are given the support and resources to develop their leadership skills.

“It is critically important for our student leaders to know that they are our future. As a result, it is necessary for us to celebrate, encourage and provide them with the resources needed to reach their potential. This event, which will be an annual event, is one such way we can fulfil that mandate.”

The summit was opened by the Minister of Education, with remarks from Commissioner of Education Kalmar Richards.

The morning consisted of workshops for each education level designed to not only develop students leadership skills but also allow them to reflect on what everyday leadership looks like.

Workshop topics included Handling Conflict, Effecting Change, and Examining Leadership Qualities, and Interpersonal Communication skills.

Workshops were delivered by leaders in the community and education, including members of the Bermuda Police Service – PCs Anton Gilbert and Valerius Jean Louis; Tina Nash and Keri Pacheco of Raleigh Bermuda; Patrina “Power Girl” Paynter of Big Brothers and Sisters; Nishanthi Bailey – teacher at Dellwood Middle School; Kenneth Caesar – principal of CedarBridge Academy; Chris Crumpler of Impact Mentoring; and Anthony Peets – counselor at Prospect Primary.

Students had a working lunch which consisted of an inspirational video and questions about their experience at the conference.

Students were intentionally seated so that they were mixed in school and age group allowing them to make new friends and for younger students to see and model older students leadership behaviours.

At the end of lunch, students were joined by Premier David Burt who shared his own leadership journey followed by an enthusiastic question and answer period.

Questions for the Premier ranged from his favourite colour and scariest moment as a pilot to why the Bermuda was on the EU Tax Avoidance list and the implications for Bermuda if Brexit goes forward.

The day ended with a reflective session where students provided feedback on the day, including things learned in the sessions and about themselves during the process.

Speaking on what she had learned throughout the day CedarBridge Academy Head Girl, Shenessa Maylor Taylor shared remarks with the entire group of students saying, “A leader should be someone who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.

“As leaders we have to learn to communicate with each other and recognise that yes, we should take charge but we should also take advice from other individuals as we are only human and no one is perfect”.

“The event was considered a success by students as they expressed gratitude for the efforts of the organisers and presenters. Mrs. Darlene Hartley of the Ministry of Education and Ms. Lee-Ann Simmons of the Department of Education especially are to be credited for the thought, care, and hard work they put into organizing the Youth Empowerment Summit,” a spokesperson said.

On 28 March, these students will be recognised at an event with their parents and community members for their hard work and leadership.

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