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Student leaders honoured

Student leaders at the Youth Empowerment Summit award ceremony

More than 100 public school students were honoured for their leadership qualities at the second annual Youth Empowerment Summit.

Teachers, students, parents and principals of Bermuda’s public schools gathered at CedarBridge Academy for the award ceremony attended by Kalmar Richards, the Commissioner of Education, and Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education.

The ceremony came after a summit involving the primary, middle and high school students at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club.

All student leaders received a commemorative booklet and a certificate.

Mr Rabain said: “This is an event that started with a single idea: an idea to not only celebrate the leaders within our public school system but also one to let our students know that we will always be here to support, guide and provide uplift for each and every one of you.

“I commend all of you that have accepted the awesome responsibility to be a leader among your fellow students.”

Sitting in the audience was Jaire Lawrence, 17, head boy at CedarBridge Academy.

He told The Royal Gazette about some of his responsibilities as a student leader.

“I have to come to school early to do gate duty from 8am to 8.30am, I have to speak on the intercom for morning announcements, I have to advocate for the school body and be a part of certain student teams,” he said.

“I enjoy getting to learn more about my school and the people at my school and to be able to communicate with everybody.”

Keren Smith, 14, student council president at Sandys Secondary Middle School, said that respect was an important attribute.

She said: “You need to respect your peers and listen to the student council. I have to listen to what the students want because I am their voice. I have to make sure whatever I do benefits the school and the students.

“I also have to try to make school fun for them and not make it just about work and homework — I try to get them involved in activities so they can have more confidence in themselves.”

During the Youth Empowerment Summit earlier this month, the students participated in workshops that focused on leadership including handling conflict, effecting change, examining leadership qualities and communication skills.

Students learnt from numerous community leaders including David Burt, the Premier, who shared his own leadership journey with them.

Ms Richards said: “Our vision is for all students to be educated to lead personally and professionally so that they can compete globally.”