The fourth year of the United Youth Leaders of Barbados Awards Ceremony held at the 3W’s Oval, University of West Indies Cave Hill was a family affair. Youth advocate Roshanna Trimm received the esteemed Youth Champion Award and her brother Rondell Trimm walked away with the Chairman’s Award of Excellence.
Aside from being a youth champion, Roshanna is also the President of the Barbados Youth Development Council and also, at 24 years of age, she is the head of the National Youth Policy Committee. She also held the post of Prime Minister in the Barbados Youth Parliament.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY on the sidelines of the awards ceremony, the longstanding member of the UYLB said she was very happy to be recognised as the spokeswoman for the island’s youth and for her charitable efforts.
“Because of how active the organization has made me and recognising that my passion is to create change and to have a voice, being the youngest person as the chairman of a youth policy committee across the region is also something that has come from the organisation,” Roshanna said.
She revealed that she wanted to extend her advocacy into the communities, engaging with at-risk youth, developing programmes which addressed their issues and equipping them with skills to better themselves and others in their district.
“I want to delve in and have young people involved from beginning to end. Instead of leading projects [I want] to step back and let young people guide projects. I think when we are able to let young people feel like they have a very valuable contribution to make and that they can change their circumstance, we are going to reduce a lot of issues that are happening,” Roshanna divulged.
While addressing the incidence of youth involved in criminal activity, especially teenage boys, Roshanna stated that she believed an analysis of the country’s education system was crucial in addressing youth violence and deviance.
“I feel it is scary for young people not to have respect for life and for me that is crazy because there is so much that it offers . . . If you do research, you find that [some] young people went to particular secondary schools so we need to address our educational system; we need to address the tools we offer young people; how we engage young people; the programmes that we have in place and do young people want those programmes?” she emphasised.
During the awards ceremony, featured speaker, Minister of Youth and Community Empowerment Adrian Forde lauded the 11-year-old charitable organisation which focuses on empowering the youth and making social changes. The Minister of Youth encouraged the “elders in society and the mentors” to help in the moulding and shaping of the country’s youth. He indicated that young people were the driving force to uniting communities and creating enterprises and industries.
“Let our villages start seeing themselves as one big happy family and then we have a society with hope. We want to uplift this society with hope,” he said, adding, “Young people must become good conduits for the strengthening of their peers, encouragement of productivity, integrity and the fostering of good relationships between communities.” (KK)