Twenty secondary school students who graduated yesterday from a counselling programme on a series of social behaviour expectations, have been advised to use the lessons learnt in making successful lives for themselves.
The students, drawn from seven schools, were throughout the past school term involved in tutoring classes delivered by the non-governmental organisation, Supreme Counselling, in anger management, conflict resolution, self-esteem building, self awareness, career planning, and behavioral modification.
“You have been given the tools that could afford you a decent and proper attitude. And this attitude will breed success,” Trustee of the Maria Holder Trust, Mary Brewster, told the students at the Savannah Hotel.
“You are now equipped to create a brighter tomorrow, a vision that will direct you through any dark paths that may come your way.”
The five-year old ‘Supreme Counselling for Personal Development’ is a non-profit voluntary organization which offers community-based, non-residential programmes with a focus on crisis intervention.
The organization states that it “maintains a commitment to education, counselling and mentorship services for persons experiencing substance abuse, family and behavioural problems and other issues that may arise within the community”.
Founder and chief executive officer of the NGO, Shawn Clarke, urged the graduates yesterday, to “see this programme as a way of life”.
The current cohort brings to 620, the number of graduates from the mentoring programme over the past five years.
Guest speaker, Member of Parliament for St Thomas, Cynthia Forde, congratulated the NGO for its working relationship with the secondary schools, namely Fredrick Smith, Lester Vaughn, St George, Grantley Adams, Parkinson Memorial, Princess Margaret, and Coleridge and Parry.
She expressed the hope that the programme will be extended to all secondary schools on the island, “because we need it to help our youth and empower them”.
She advised the graduates to “turn those stumbling blocks into stepping stones”, and called on parents and guardians to play a greater part in the life of their children.
“Let us get back to basics parents. Sit down and read with your children, tell them about life, your exploits, the challenges you have met.”
She also urged adults to forge generational links with children so the traditional Barbadian society can be maintained.
“All of us have passed through the teenage phase and should therefore identify, embrace, comment as well as empathise with the youth as they grapple with the numerous issues that confront them daily, particularly when they are going through that stage of puberty and adolescence.”
Commending Clarke, a former youth service officer, for his vision in opening the NGO, Forde noted that, “Barbados schools and students need the kind of intervention that is taking place through the direction of your charity in your quest to reach out to the youths who have displayed behavioral problems perhaps, emotional challenges, or none at all, but they just want to be on the right path”.