Video: Future Leaders Summer Programme

June 27, 2023 | 0 Comments

Yesterday [June 26], Premier David Burt and Future Leaders Bermuda held a press conference to announce the 17 students selected to participate in the 2023 Future Leaders Summer Induction Programme.

Premier David Burt said, “Good Afternoon to the Future Leaders team, students, and members of the media. Welcome to the Cabinet Office for the launch of the 2023 Future Leaders Summer Programme.

“Nelson Mandela once said, ‘The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow’, and those simple yet profound words are embodied here as I stand amongst these incredible young people who represent a bright future for our island.

“In today’s complex world, young people often observe critical societal issues from the sidelines, forced to witness the deliberations of older generations. Yet, some of our young people, like those standing beside me today, know that the pressing matters of today will impact and shape their lives in the years to come and that the time to get involved, learn, and develop yourself is now.

“Since 2017 the Future Leaders Summer programme and the outstanding team founded by Mr Ryan Robinson Perinchief have helped to unlock the potential of 86 future leaders over five summer programmes, educating them about the important matters that face our society today and empowering them with the skills and knowledge to effect positive change.

“Through a comprehensive blend of academic study, hands-on education, and meaningful service to local organisations, the 16 young participants in this year’s cohort will examine pressing social issues, such as poverty, social justice, and inequality. They will be encouraged to step outside their comfort zones, to embrace innovation and adaptability, and embrace diversity and inclusivity as pillars of a thriving community.

“They will have the chance to interact with leaders from government, business, and non-profit sectors—gaining insights and inspiration from those who have dedicated themselves to making a difference. These interactions will undoubtedly foster a sense of possibility and instil in our students the belief that they can help shape our island’s future. [And I look forward to sitting down with them, answering their questions and sharing my experience, as I enjoy doing each summer]

“And perhaps most importantly, this program will help to forge lasting friendships and lifelong connections among these future leaders. They will work and learn alongside like-minded individuals, bound by a shared passion for progress and a determination to make a positive impact on our society. These friendships will be a constant source of support and collaboration as they navigate the opportunities that lie ahead.


“To see the programme’s success, you need look no further than Mr Seon Tatem and Ms Mckenzie Kohl-Tuckett. Both are graduates from the Future Leaders Summer Programme and now serve as Assistant Directors for the organisation, helping to empower other young people and continuing the incredible work that has helped them develop into outstanding young, influential leaders in our community.

“The Government of Bermuda is proud to support this programme as we have since it commenced. We will again commit $25,000 from the Cabinet Office budget to ensure that the students here today can participate without worrying about the cost. We will continue to support programmes like this that encourage the growth and development of young Bermudians and prepare them for future opportunities and leadership roles.

“And as I close, I congratulate all of the participants in this year’s summer programme who have committed time from their summer break to personal development. It is commendable to see young Bermudians taking such a proactive interest in making a positive difference in our society and community service. I wish them all the best.

“I call on the community to support them, not only over the next three weeks of this programme but beyond. So many young Bermudians, like those here today, are doing incredible things academically, athletically, in business, in the arts and more, and we must ensure that we continue to encourage them, empower them, and support them. Thank you.”


Seon Tatem, Youth Director, said, “Good Afternoon and welcome to The Hon E. David Burt JP, MP; HSCM Bermuda, our platinum corporate sponsors; parents, members of the media, and of course, this year’s incoming 2023 Future Leaders.

“My name is Seon Tatem, and the pleasure is mine to return for a third year as Assistant Director for this year’s summer programme. I am pleased today to introduce the students standing behind me, who will be participating in the 2023 Future Leaders Summer Induction Programme. The Future Leaders Programme is a three-week programme which comprises academic study, hands-on education and meaningful service to the community, with the aim to empower passionate young leaders and to arm them with the skills they need to make a positive impact in Bermuda and the world today.

“Upon completion of this year’s Summer Programme, these Future Leaders will have deeply explored subjects from poverty to social justice & activism, and will have accumulated 90 hours of co-curricular activity and community service.

“On behalf of Future Leaders Bermuda, I would like to express our gratitude to the Government of Bermuda Cabinet Office for their continued sponsorship of our summer programme. As mentioned in previous years, due to this partnership, no student has been unable to participate due to a lack of finances. Thank you again for your continued support.

“Beyond our summer programme, it would be remiss of me not to mention our wider organization – Future Leaders Bermuda – which as registered charity no. 1009 has been fortunate enough to receive the support of HSCM Bermuda, our platinum corporate sponsor since 2021. This year we are pleased to announce that not only has HSCM Bermuda made a further commitment to our organisation, but our partnership with Hudson Structured Capital Management was recognized at the Trading Risk Awards 2023 as Diversity & Inclusion initiative of the year.

“The partnership came as a result of HSCM Bermuda’s desire to acknowledge and address the gaps in Black Bermudian leadership at the senior management level in the corporate environment, and has resulted in mentorships and summer opportunities for students in Bermuda.

“We thank you for your continued investment, and are certain that the Government of Bermuda would agree that this is an excellent example of the public and private sector working together for the benefit of Bermuda’s young people. With an eye on the future, we look forward to continued initiatives with the support of both HSCM Bermuda, and the Government of Bermuda, in addition to our other community partners and sponsors to whom we are extremely grateful.

“Every year, our programme sets a theme and highlights an inspirational leader with a quote for the summer. Our last programme theme was “Whatever knowledge I acquire from society does not belong to me” – by Bermudian activist, visionary and pioneering nation-builder, Dr. Pauulu Kamarakafego.

“Today, it has become increasingly rare to witness one speak their truth, especially our young people. As we grow into this society, freedom of expression is sometimes met with criticism or is even discouraged. We are all aware of the phrase, “do not speak, unless spoken to”, “wait your turn”, or “keep your head down and don’t stir up any trouble” – words heard by today’s young people, and those of the past, which discourage them from challenging things they see and do not agree with. Today, I wish to remind these Future Leaders behind me that you, your mind, and your opinions are irreplaceable. Who you are, and how you think makes you who you are, a unique resilient young mind which cannot be suppressed by today’s world. Unless you allow it. What I hope you remember, is that no human being, not your guardian, friend, nor sibling will ever be able to walk in your shoes. What I am saying is that no matter how hard anyone tries, or how well someone knows you, no human being will ever be able to be you. So, if we never hear your voice, we will have missed out on something that can never be duplicated, you.

“It is therefore befitting that this year’s theme centres around the late Bermudian trade union and labour organiser, civil rights advocate, political activist and former senator, Ms. LaVerne Furbert. In a quote by Maggie Kuhn regarding the late Bermudian stalwart Ms. LaVerne Furbert, the words “Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes” resonate when reflecting on the life-long contributions of Sis. LaVerne Furbert. As someone who was politically vocal for her entire life, there is no doubt that at some point she will have offended some, and in some cases even had a change in viewpoint at a later stage. However, the late Ms. LaVerne Furbert was never afraid to use her voice in expressing her truth and opinions in pursuit of justice and fairness for all – even those persons who were sometimes too shy to speak for themselves. She was also respected for being courageous enough to challenge authority and hold others to account when she felt a duty was not being met. We also take this time to give a shoutout to our valued community partners at the Bermuda Industrial Union, and send our condolences to the family and friends of the late Bro. Ottiwell Simmons who was buried yesterday. You are in the thoughts and prayers of all of us at Future Leaders Bermuda.

“To the 2023 Future Leaders, As you grow into the fine young men and women you are destined to become, attempts will be made to silence your voice and dim your light, this may come from your peers, society at large, the media and even your own families, however, what I hope you remember as Ms. LaVerne Furbert constantly practiced, if you do not share your truth and make your voice be heard, who will? Too often, the resilient minds of our young people are silenced, however, I stress to each of you, remember these words, although you are young today, tomorrow’s survival is based primarily upon you, so, like LaVerne Furbert, speak the truth and express your views – even if your voice shakes.

“My grandfather, whom admired Sis LaVerne once said to me, ‘Seon, why be upset with the things people say about you, why would you even care, if you care about their opinions, they will speak their minds anyhow, however, even if you don’t care about their opinions, they will continue to speak their minds, so son, either way, no matter what, people will talk regardless, so you, you speak THE TRUTH and never surrender nor suppress your mind and thinking to that of what is popular.’

“Over the course of the three weeks, our students will focus on 7 main units:

  • 1. Service and Community Building
  • 2. Poverty, Crime, and Inequality
  • 3. Identity and Privilege
  • 4. Leadership and Self-Determination
  • 5. Social Justice, Social Activism and Social Entrepreneurship
  • 6. The Power to Make a Difference and
  • 7. How to Take Action

“By the end of the three-week programme, students will apply leadership, teambuilding and analytical skills that will empower them to question their roles as citizens and leaders, and consider the power they hold, both as individuals and as a collective.

“All local schools were invited to nominate at least one student to attend, with registration also open to the public. Based on the responses, we take this time to applaud the commitment of the 17 students who will be participating in this year’s programme:

“From the Berkeley Institute, we have:

  • 1. Elias Baia
  • 2. Jentle York

“From CedarBridge Academy, we have:

  • 3. Jamir Hatherley
  • 4. Daejun Butterfield

“Bermuda High School is represented by:

  • 5. Harmony Seymour

“Somersfield Academy is represented by:

  • 6. Anayah Curtis

“From Warwick Academy, we have:

  • 7. Teizh Hall
  • 8. Henok Simons
  • 9. Zadok Simons

“From Bermuda Institute, we have:

  • 10. Kanon Gibbons-Lewis
  • 11. Kaleb Harris
  • 12. Malachi Lightbourne

“Sandys Secondary Middle School is represented by:

  • 13. Ki’Rico Hall

“Northwest is represented by:

  • 14. Aiyara Best

“Penn Foster is represented by:

  • 15. Kingston Lekki

“South Charlotte Middle is represented by: and

  • 16. Mayan McKeown

“Providence High School is represented by:

  • 17. Jaden McKeown-Alexander

“To the 17 brilliant minds behind me, over the following three-weeks, you along with the rest of our team will begin a journey to further build tomorrow’s future. You are the key to unlocking tomorrow’s problems and most importantly, you are tomorrow’s problem solvers, innovators, and our overall future. As a past participant, I can attest to the invaluable experience this programme can and will grant you. It will not be an easy experience, but that is okay, as easy comes, easy goes, and what is truly worth it, rarely comes easily. So, without further adieu, let’s get to work.

“We will now hear a few words from one of this year’s incoming Future Leaders, Malachi Lightbourne.

“Again, we’d like to say thank you to the Government of Bermuda Cabinet Office for sponsoring this year’s Future Leaders Programme, and to HSCM Bermuda as our platinum sponsor and partner. We have also been able to deliver our summer programme over the past years with the support of our numerous community partners, the Bermuda Industrial Union, the Bermuda College, Midland Heights Seventh Day Adventist Church, Aries Sports Center, the Salvation Army, the Department of the Judiciary, Agra Living Institute, the Information Commissioner’s Office, Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda, and the United States Consulate.

“Lastly, as just a quick announcement we would like to inform the public that Future Leaders Bermuda will be hosting a ‘Student Advice Clinic’ throughout the course of this year’s programme, an upcoming one-day community event designed to empower and engage Bermudian students and young adults. This initiative aims to provide invaluable access to free student advice and resources that will equip them for their educational journey and professional development. This event is specifically tailored to cater to high school students, university scholars, and recent graduates returning home, and will be held on Sunday, July 16th, 2023, from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Hosted at the Ottiwell A Simmons Building [Bermuda Industrial Union].

“Students can come on out for free resume advice, mental health tips, one-on-one sessions with mentors and professionals, a free school and business clothes exchange and free professional photo portraits. We will share more details in the media in the next few days.

“If you would like to keep updated on this year’s programme and our work here at Future Leaders Bermuda please visit us on Instagram and Facebook at Futureleadersbda, or our website at Thank you.”

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