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Nine young leaders graduate from a Youth leadership development program

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by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Nine young leaders graduated from phase one of a Youth leadership development program entitled ‘Leadership Development on Purpose & 5 Es of Leadership” at the Royal St. Kitts Hotel Saturday, February 18, 2023.

The Graduates:

  • Josiah Benjamin

  • Andrew Davis

  • Desiree Elliott

  • Khari Gonsalves

  • Nathan Henry

  • Janaya Huggins

  • Andrenique Parris

  • Ahnica Rouse

  • Makalia Tucker

The programme involved private and public sector collaboration and, according to one of the facilitators, “was aimed at fostering acknowledgment of inner strengths, recognition of successes, and engagement in positive thought.  It represents a paradigm shift in that it emphasises the strength in differences and promotes love, respect and contribution as a way of life.”

The program was facilitated by Hensley Daniel of HSO Trading Inc. and Euphemia Brice Robert, Executive Director of Bryce Roberts Business Consulting Services.

The Program ran for ten weeks, and students had the opportunity to learn leadership skills through two modules – The Five E’s of Leadership and Leadership Development on Purpose.

Two participants of the Youth leadership development program – Khari Gonsalves and Josiah Benjamin – explained the course overview and its benefits.

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Phase two will see the students complete a vision board project that will depict their leadership path – their vision – and upon the submission of the boards, the nine students will receive their official certificates.

One of the facilitators, Hensley Daniel, explained the various phases which make the program a holistic experience for young leaders.

“All of them have to do a vision board that is their vision, and we are going to have, by the end of March, an opportunity for them to present the vision and to share it in groups. We are looking towards giving them, from a Caribbean point of view, an application component where you can be assigned with an organisation for a few hours to let you see how organisations are run, whether those organisations are private sector, public sector or community organisation. So, you see, we do the theory, we know the practical, which is the vision board, and we do the application.”

Euphemia Brice Robert, the facilitator who led the “Leadership Development on Purpose” module, gave an anecdote of her time during the program where she expressed that being a leader is not an abstract concept to be done in the future but that the act of leading starts now.

“I am normally loaded with how much stuff at the end of the session, whether to put down stuff or carrying stuff. Now I noted initially that nobody was really out to help; it’s like they just left me to do all my stuff. So then I said, “Well, I am one who believes in asking for what I need, what I desire”. So then I said, “well, wait, we’ve been talking about leadership; we’ve been talking about service” it’s now, it’s not a pie in the sky. It is now we need to show we are helping. So when I am leaving, when the stuff is to come down, I am looking for you [to take the initiative] in coming forward.”

Initially, the program started with 20 participants and saw nine moving to phase two. However, the other 11 participants still have a chance to complete the program in full once the necessary work is completed before the presentation of the vision boards at the end of March.

Parents and supporters were in the crowd at the closing ceremony, and two parents, Charmaine Huggins and John Davis shared their views on how the program affected their children.

“Some may feel that to be a leader; you need to be born a leader. However, I must say that with proper training and practice, leaders are made. As a result of this leadership course, my daughter Janaya has become much more confident, passionate, and assertive. And I do believe that these are traits that she can continue to build on and have an impact on the people she [interacts] with daily.” – Charmaine Huggins.

“I find it very timely and very, very necessary… I was a police officer for quite some time, and a program like this I see is very essential for our communities, our homes and overall, our country. I would like to applaud the coordinators of this program for their vision, and it is not just that, but I think it’s a great way to pass on their experience and knowledge to our future generations. This is something that we have been lacking for a long time, and it reflects on our society and our young people” – John Davis.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Marsha Henderson’s remarks on the students’ completion of the program emphasised that the students’ journey starts now, and there is a need for young leaders to help lead their peers.

“Be good citizens for St. Kitts and Nevis. We are depending on you. Believe me when I say we are depending on you. Mrs Brice Roberts is depending on you. Mr Daniel is depending on you. The government of St. Kitts and Nevis we’re depending on you. Your parents are depending on you; otherwise, we just might call it quits, and let’s let the place mash up, but we need good, strong, firm leaders.”

The Minister then turned her attention to the parents and urged them to continue to nurture their children positively.

“We must pay attention to our children. You know, when I was younger, I used to ask my mother every time, Mommy, why? Mommy, how this go? Mommy, why this wall there? She used to say; you’re going to be a lawyer; you ask too much questions. Lo and behold, I became a lawyer. We speak things over our children… so sometimes, the things that speak over our children is important. We speak things into being. When you say, “I can’t go with you, you is too much”, “done with it”, [or] “you is too fast”,… say positive things to our leaders. It matters”

The sponsors and supporters of the Youth leadership Development Program were Carib Brewery Ltd., Hobson Enterprises, HSO Trading Inc. and Bryce Roberts Business Consulting Services, Ms Shermalon Kirby, the St. Kitts and Nevis Ministry of Tourism, the Royal St. Kitts Hotel, Solid Waste Management Corporation, St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank Ltd, St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce, TDC Group of Companies, and Dr Natasha Weekes.

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