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Youth urged to grab opportunities

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Teenagers and organisers stand alongside the Minister of Youth, Social Development and Seniors, Tinée Furbert, at the launch of Teens Day Weekend on the steps of City Hall yesterday (Photograph by Alva Solomon)

High school students should grasp opportunities geared at enhancing their talents, local leaders said at the launch of Teens Day Weekend, which organisers hope will become an annual event.

The students, including seniors from the Berkeley Institute, gathered on the lawns of City Hall yesterday for the event.

Several speakers urged the teenagers to follow paths that would be rewarding to them in the long term.

“Find your path. There are so many opportunities,” Branwen Smith-King, Interim president of Bermuda College, told the students.

“It is important that you grasp every opportunity that we have in this country.

“There are so many temptations and opportunities to default and make mistakes,” she said. However, she noted that the students could always turn to their parents, teachers and community leaders to give them valuable support.

“There is always someone to go to for help.”

Tinée Furbert, the Minister of Youth Social Development and Seniors, said Teens Day Weekend would be an, “excellent opportunity to promote a nurturing and inclusive atmosphere, that appreciates the unique contributions of our teenagers and addresses the challenges they may face in this significant stage of life”.

She told the students that, as a parent of two teenagers, she knew that life at this stage could have its rewards and challenges. “Navigating both positive and negative aspects can be difficult. But having support is crucial, support of family, of friends, and the support of the Government,” she added.

Ms Furbert said the ministry has undertaken a number of initiatives to assist teenagers. They include the Independent Living Programme, which was established last year.

She said the programme served as a “lifeline” and a “safety net” for young people, adding that its goal was to afford them the best opportunity to be successful.

Ms Furbert also mentioned the National Youth Policy and encouraged the teenagers in attendance to carry out research on the policy and its benefits.

The organisers said the first observance of Teens Day Weekend on March 2 was significant because it coincides with several key historical events.

It was noted that March 2 marks the anniversary of an incident in which then 15-year-old Claudette Colvin, an American civil rights activist, refused to submit to segregation laws on a Montgomery bus in 1955.

In Bermuda, the organisers said, 15-year-old David Wingate ignored being, “shunned as a nerd” and played a key role in the globally significant rediscovery of the cahow.

The organisers also recognised the efforts of Swedish teenager and environmentalist Greta Thunberg. It was noted that she has “demonstrated the capacity of teens to impact the globe for the better”.

Several suggestions were made for families, organisations and schools to recognise and enhance the talents of teenagers.

They were urged to engage teenagers in fun activities that were “collaborative rather than competitive”.

In addition, it was noted that adults should carefully consider how they openly share examples of their own mistakes.

Launch of Teens Day Weekend at City Hall (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published March 01, 2024 at 7:50 am (Updated March 01, 2024 at 9:40 am)

Youth urged to grab opportunities

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