Road Town, Tortola – May 2 – This morning nine senior high school students from across the Territory had the opportunity to attend the Seventh National Prayer Breakfast as guests of Territorial Representative and Minister for Education, Culture and Youth Affairs, Hon Myron V. Walwyn.
Paul Oliver and Jada Maduro, the Head Boy and Girl respectively of St Georges Secondary, Christie Latchman, the Student Body President of Elmore Stoutt High and Melvin Knight of Seventh Day Adventist Secondary make up their schools’ student leadership. Also in attendance were students with the highest registered CXC subjects; Kayliqua Baptitste, Demitri Browne, Jilian Jeffers, Johanna Marrugo and Rafael Savory. All five of those students attend the Elmore Stoutt High School. As it is now required that senior students sit the regional exams, those five students embraced the challenge and will be taking 11 subjects each.
While at breakfast students commented that they enjoyed the morning’s proceedings and that they were all thankful for the opportunity. They heard from guest speaker, former South Carolina Governor, David Beasley, as well as received commendations and well wishes from members in the community on their academic and civic undertakings.
Walwyn said he wanted to utilise the opportunity to expose the students to such an event, which is now hosted annually by the Speaker of the Virgin Islands House of Assembly and its Members. “It remains important to me that we continue to give our young people different opportunities to be in different settings so that they can become comfortable, confident and ready to assume leadership in a variety of ways. Exposure to these types of activities colour the experiences of our students and truly help them to mature.”
Walwyn said he continues to remember the promise that he made to his campaign committee’s youth group, Youth for Walwyn. “I am fortunate that my youth committee keeps me in check and they are not afraid to remind me that I committed to offering a different style of leadership and opportunities to the Territory’s youth.”
He explained that Youth for Walwyn provided a list of issues facing young people in the Territory, and before they went out to advocate for him, they asked for his plans to address raised issues. “One of the issues they felt strongly about was their maturation so that they can properly manage the responsibility of advancing the Territory for all.
Walywn expounded by saying, “They felt that in our community, one day you are a child and the next day, you are expected to be an adult without any guidance or exposure. I promised them that I would do my part to change that on an every day level – such as providing opportunities for exposure like the prayer breakfast, as well as the policy level –improving the quality of education, not just to address the academic and job readiness needs, but to help build their pride in this country and help them learn how to live up to their civic responsibilities. While we still have much more work to do, I believe we are making an impact and together we will continue to empower the youth of this Territory.”
Hon Walwyn extended thanks and appreciation to Territorial Representative and Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Ronnie W. Skelton, for sharing his invitations so that more students were able to attend this morning’s breakfast.