STEP UP SEMINARS MAKE A TRULY POSITIVE IMPACT

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First Lady Lorna Smith

First Lady Lorna Smith

In light of the success of the Step Up seminar for young men held on March 7, a call has been made for seminar organizer Follow The Movement (FTM) to take the discussion in the arena where youths dwell.

At a press conference on March 24, FTM president Craig Lake explained that the seminar was the brainchild of First Lady Mrs. Lorna Smith. Mr. Lake explained that it was thought best that there were two seminars to address the specific needs of both genders. The first was held in December and catered to young women and the recently held seminar catered to men.

The FTM President said that he was pleased with the turnout of both events and spoke fondly of the men’s seminar which featured presentations from Ms. Lavern Horne-Gumbs of BCQS; Mr. Bryan Scatliffe of Mossack Fonseca & Co; Mr. David Foot, Superintendent of Her Majesty’s Prison; Mr. David Morris, Commissioner of Police; Mr. Clarence Faulkner of Pension Plan Consultancy; Mr. Julien Johnson of Financial Investigation Agency; Kaylinda Richardson, MMG Trust (BVI); and Mr. Melvin M. Turnbull of Project Lion Heart.

He also announced that FTM will be partnering with the Rotary Clubs in the next couple of months to execute more youth initiatives.

Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn commended FTM and the panelists for the success of the seminar and stated that Government alone couldn’t fix the problems youths are facing: “The government would put policies in place, and put resources to do all that we can do all that we can but we have to really go back to that old saying that it takes a village to raise a child.”

The Minister also challenged FTM to go mobile with the seminar: “I want to challenge you to take this seminar out into the community out into the area where we have the young men that need more direction and assistance.”

Mrs. Lorna Smith thanked FTM and panelists for the success of the seminars and explained that the idea to hold the events dawned on her a year ago: “Several months ago, in fact last year before I went to Hong Kong, Craig (Lake) and I sat down — I refer to Craig as the community organizer, and I don’t think there is a better communicator in the British Virgin Islands in terms of reaching young people. I said to Craig we need to reach our young people, our young men and women. I thought that the best place to start was in our high school and that is how we got started, but I can’t take the credit for it. It was Craig who said lets separate the men and the women, and that’s where we are. We had the young women last year December and then we had the young men a few weeks ago. I just left it up to Follow The Movement to do the rest. When I looked round that Friday and I saw that sea of young men …I was truly moved with joy at what I saw.”

The First Lady added that she fully endorsed the comment made by Hon. Walwyn regarding going out into the community and meeting the youths at their level: “As the Minister realizes we are not going to get those who really need the help to come out under the tent we have to go out there and reach them,” she added.

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