Charlestown-Nevis—A historic graduation exercise took place at the conference room of the Nevis Cooperative Credit Union building on Monday 7th December. That was when the first ever YTS or YES TO SUCCESS program was brought to its official conclusion.
The program was ably chaired by Mrs. Shelly Liburd of the Social Services Department and the invocation was delivered by Miss Sandrine Caesar.
Director at the Social Services Department, Mrs. Sandra Maynard, gave welcome remarks and also took time out to thank the donor for funding the project.
She indicated that the program was coordinated by the Social Services Department through its Family Services division. She noted that the sessions to which the young people were exposed, involved skills awareness sessions and practical on the job experience.
A total of 35 young persons applied; 25 started the course and 21 actually completed it.
She stated that the program was a part of the OECS reform project which seeks to give ‘at risk’ youths a chance to develop their skills and enhance their overall development to face life’s challenges.
She informed the small gathering that some of the participants may not have done well academically and are normally not first in line in the procurement of jobs. However, the program will effectively, help to enhance their skills, help them to become more confident and positive in dealing with the challenges of life.
She thanked the donor, the European Union which donated funding for the program to the tune of over $40,000.00.
Some of the funds were used to pay the participants a stipend so that they were able to learn and work at the same time.
Probation officer at the Social Services department, Mr. Leostone Morrison, then gave an overview of the program.
He stated that the program was based on three pillars: Counselling; skills training and educational improvement.
He further stated that as is the case with most pilot projects, this one had its set of challenges but he pointed out that the challenges are being used as a motivation towards improvement for the next program which is set to commence in March 2016. The recruitment process will commence in January 2016.
He noted that the program is all about TRANSFORMATION: Learn a skill; be empowered by that skill and be transformed by that skill.
He thanked trainers: Kevin Chapman and Sylvester Wallace—Culinary Arts; Clive Pemberton-Tiling; Jermaine Bartlette and Everton Rogers-Landscaping. He stated that they all went beyond the call of duty, in imparting their skills.
Morrison also thanked the facilitators who lectured on various topics such as: Self-esteem; saving; planning; banking; dress; how to speak; how to conduct oneself during an interview etc.
He also appealed to business owners to get on board with future programs, in assisting the participants in acquiring jobs.
One of the trainers, Mr. Everton Rogers, stated that it was a pleasure to be there. He congratulated the Social Services Department for assisting the youngsters.
He noted that the process of training offered by the department, reminded him of a song: ‘Take my hand.’
He indicated that once the participants allowed the department to take their hands and guide them, they would indeed reap success.
Mrs. Anesta Maynard then assisted in distributing the certificates to the deserving participants and the vote of thanks was delivered by Miss Sandrine Caesar.