Students in St. James Take Part in Empowerment Camp

Photo: Marlong Tingling Conceptualizer of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) IPAD 4 Life Youth Empowerment and Mentorship Camp, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Novelette Grant (right), presents an award to Tiana McPherson in recognition of her leadership qualities during the just concluded two-week camp at the Spot Valley High School in St. James. The presentation took place during the graduation ceremony for participants in the camp on Friday, July 21.

Story Highlights

  • Seventy five high school students from St. James graduated from a two-week Youth Empowerment and Mentorship Camp on July 21, which was hosted by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), under its Identity, Purpose, Attitude and Destiny (IPAD 4 Life) programme.
  • “This kind of activity cannot be over-stressed. It is a very important part of a mentorship and empowerment programme. I am very confident that positive changes have been made among the participants,” he said.
  • She said in addition to youth being involved, their parents have also joined in with the formation of adult mentorship groups, which will not only cater to the students in the camps, but men and women deemed to be at-risk.

Seventy five high school students from St. James graduated from a two-week Youth Empowerment and Mentorship Camp on July 21, which was hosted by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), under its Identity, Purpose, Attitude and Destiny (IPAD 4 Life) programme.

The camp, which is the brainchild of Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Novelette Grant, was staged in St. James for the first time, after being held in other parishes since it started in 2015.

Speaking at the closing ceremony held at the Spot Valley High School in St. James, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, said the camp will continue to make a positive impact in addressing some of the negative issues which are faced by young people.

“This kind of activity cannot be over-stressed. It is a very important part of a mentorship and empowerment programme. I am very confident that positive changes have been made among the participants,” he said.

Dr. Chang urged the participants to use the elements in IPAD 4 Life to guide their lives going forward, pointing out that many inner-city youth are faced with an identity challenge, especially those in the 12 to 18 age group, which sometimes forces them into anti-social activities.

“You don’t need to get into a group that has the baddest guns to feel important…you can begin to feel that I as an individual, is important and has a future and can play an important role as an important person,” the Minister said.

He commended the Community Safety and Security Branch of the JCF for spearheading the camp.

Dr. Chang said the Government will continue to support initiatives such as IPAD 4 Life, through its Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme, which includes elements of training and mentorship of the nation’s youth.

Meanwhile, DCP Grant said since the launch of the programme in 2015, IPAD 4 Life has positively impacted over 14,000 young people in Westmoreland, St. Ann, Clarendon and St. Catherine.

She said in addition to youth being involved, their parents have also joined in with the formation of adult mentorship groups, which will not only cater to the students in the camps, but men and women deemed to be at-risk.

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