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Students praised for taking leadership roles

Celebration of our young: Graduates from the Family Centre’s Youth Leadership Academy Foundations(Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Students who took part in a six-month leadership programme were yesterday awarded with certificates at a graduation ceremony.

Sixteen students graduated Family Centre’s Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) Foundations — and twelve students were present to accept their awards.

“This group of young people has excelled,” the charity said in a statement. “They have had fun and have praised the programme for helping them to making better choices and take more of a leadership role.

“This summer they worked hard to complete community projects they designed to help making the community a better place.”

At the celebration the students, who had been divided into four groups, presented their projects to resounding applause.

One group had created an animation about what it is like to be a teen in 2015, another focused on spreading positive messages by printing them on T-shirts.

The public could get their hands on one of the shirts by donating at least $10 and the funds they raised were donated to Family Centre and Feed My Lambs Ministry.

A third group spread positive messages using specially designed cupcakes — they donated the proceeds to the Hope Academy.

The fourth group created a spoken piece called ‘Untitled’, which they performed at the Emancipation Celebration Concert in July.

It focused on what it is like being a teen, the differences between generations, reminding others of young people’s worth and value, and how parents can support teens in their journey.

Michael DeSilva, the Commissioner of Police, also spoke at the event, which was held at the XL building, and affirmed the Bermuda Police Service’s commitment to the community.

Mr DeSilva said he believes that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

He added that corrective actions will not be as necessary if young people see investment and are helped to become strong adults while they are still young.

Mr DeSilva also thanked Family Centre and his police officers who volunteer their time on-and off-duty in the community.

The YLA Foundations programme, aimed at 14 to 15-year olds, is a five-month after-school programme that exposes youth to new and fun experiences, and empowers them to make positive decisions and to realise their full leadership potential through participation in community projects and activities.

Graduates of the programme are welcomed into the Youth Leadership Community, which offers them ongoing, transformative experiences and individualised support throughout high school.

Before taking part in the YLA Foundations course, the students also participated in the Youth Police Initiative — a week-long programme that aims to bring youth and Police together.

• For more information visit www.tfc.bm