Jamaica News: State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, has hailed the work of Youths for Excellence Limited in assisting students to reach their highest potential.
“I found it important that young people had come together to form this organisation, and I was further impressed that the sphere in which they decided to give back is education.
“There is nothing that has a more transformative power than education… . I think it takes a special ilk to recognise that an investment in the next generation is the best investment to make right now,” he added.
Mr. Green was speaking at the organisation sponsors’ appreciation banquet held on September 20 at the Andrews Seventh-day Adventist Church in St. Andrew.
Founded three-years ago by Jénine Shepherd when she was just 17 years of age, Youths for Excellence Limited is a non-profit organisation that tutors children aged 11 to 13, primarily in inner-city communities, and provides them with free health checks, school supplies and food.
He challenged more young persons to find creative ways to address social ills.
“Across our society, there are a lot of needs and a lot of areas that you can decide are important and as young people you can coalesce around. More of our young people, even without resources of their own, can come up with ideas that can spark interest that can create change. The fact that this organisation was founded by young persons signifies that it is time for (youth) to take charge of our country in a real way,” he said.
“You have shown what young people can do when they mobilise and organise. I see this as an opportunity to say to our youth, let us come together and form organisations around the things we are passionate about,” he added.
Mr. Green also commended the Youths for Excellence sponsors for their generosity and for “taking a leap of faith” in providing financial assistance to young persons volunteering their time and effort for a worthy cause.
Meanwhile, Ms. Shepherd, now 20 years of age, and a Neuroscience and Economics major at Amherst College in Massachusetts, said when she started Youths for Excellence the intention was to do some tutoring in the summer.
She said she soon learned that the initiative required a holistic approach as the students required the proper nutrition and materials to absorb the information they were being taught.
She expressed her gratitude to the sponsors for enabling the organisation to reach students in need.
“Tutoring the children is one thing, but ensuring that my efforts are effective and that the students benefit from what my team and I try to do, is another thing. You can try to drill information into a student’s head, but it is pointless if they are hungry or in poor health or simply have nothing to use as study materials,” she shared.
Sponsors included Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) Restaurants of Jamaica Limited, Logo Stitch Manufacturing Limited, Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) Limited, GraceKennedy Group, RJRGleaner Communications Group and Gorgeous Flowers Jamaica.
Youths for Excellence Limited has assisted over 250 students attending Cockburn Gardens Primary and Junior High, and Franklin Town and Pembroke Hall Primary schools.
Source: JIS News