Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 11, 2016 (SKNIS): A special sitting of Parliament was held on November 10 to present awards to the 25 Most Remarkable Teens for their outstanding achievements and contributions to society.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Youth, Honourable Shawn Richards, stated that “excellence is not an accident.” The Minister said that as honour is bestowed upon them, their sacrifice, diligence and perseverance, which many of them embrace in order to succeed, must be recognised.
Minister Richards said that many questions have been raised as to the number of teens being celebrated and that it should be reduced. However, the minister said to this that “it is quite easy to make this recommendation at a time when the conversation surrounding our youth is often filled with negativity, and the media and the national dialogue focus on their flaws.” He said that the 25 teens actually represent the mainstream and definitely the majority of our young people.
“What we see as flaws, which prejudice our views of youth, are the daily obstacles that so many overcome in order to survive,” said the minister.
The youth minister stated that the federation is filled with young people that are remarkably brilliant in their day to day lives.
“The child that gets up in the morning and takes care of his or her ill parent, grandparent, sibling or family member before engaging in a full day of schoolwork is remarkable,” he explained. “The teen whose part time employment is packing shelves or cutting grass is the means by which he or she and maybe his siblings get food on the table is remarkable. The child that dances, sings, writes poetry or expresses his/her life through drawings and arts purely for the love of it, he/she also is remarkable and the thousands of children that on a daily basis resist the lure of gangs, the glitz and glamour of the ills of society, the children that refuse to be bullies, but stand up for what is right, what is just and pure, those children are most remarkable teens.”
Minister Richards said that the 25 teens represent the “goodness of our young people.”
“They are exceptional, but by no means are they exceptions,” said the minister. “The choice we make within this programme is not between good and bad but between good, better and best and the 25 teens we award this evening are all most remarkable.”
The Department of Youth has implemented the 25 most remarkable teens programme for the last six years. One hundred and twenty-five teens have already been awarded through this programme and Thursday’s programme brought it to 150.
Minister Richards said that the programme is a celebration of the achievements of youth as they begin their journey on the path to becoming important contributors to the nation’s growth and development.
Le-Shera Evans, Zoend Browne; Ashleigh Thomas; Tah-J Liburd; Karessa Michael; K-Jel Smithen; Kadeema Blanchette; Devaughn Roland; Shanai Liburd; Kamil Wilkin; Reisa Herbert; Eliesel Ramirez, Tresina Gumbs, Jayden Dore, Darenice Dedier; Kadeem Govia; Sabrina Sutton; Leroy Chapman; Shafiqua Maloney; Kiandre Weekes; Janae Thompson; Shaqueed Benjamin; Shaundy Weekes; Shawndae Cameron and Shayonce Browne were all awarded at last night’s event.