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Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor Kenneth Hall has informed that the Governor General’s Achievement Awards Scheme is to be expanded to involve recognition of youth in excellence.
Professor Hall made the disclosure at the St. Gabriel’s Anglican Church Hall in May Pen, Clarendon last week during an official visit to that parish.
“We must acknowledge that they (youth) have made contributions and so I’m firmly committed to the notion that we must not only nurture excellence but we must acknowledge it, and we must reward it throughout the life cycle of our individuals,” he said.
The Governor General’s Achievement Awards Scheme, which was established to celebrate the success of volunteers and seek to highlight the impact that various individuals have made in their communities, will now include two new categories: the 18 to 24 age group and the 25 to 35 age group.
Those selected must be enrolling in a course of study, of at least eight months’ duration leading to an undergraduate degree, certificate or diploma, or must have completed or be enrolled in a course of study of at least two years’ duration.
They should also have demonstrated positive and verifiable service to the community; academic achievement, capacity for leadership and ability to motivate others; and demonstrated interest in innovation. In addition the volunteer work must have taken place within the last five years, must have been made in the public interest and must have had a positive effect on a significant number of members of the local community.
The Governor General commended the Custos of Clarendon R. James deRoux and his selection Committee for being the first in the island to put forward the names of those young persons from the parish who have been selected in these categories.
“The question then is what do we do with all of these bright young persons? How do we engage them? What projects do we engage them in and how do we ensure that their hopes become part of our country’s future? That I think creates then a challenge for all of us,” Professor Hall said.
He expressed his concerns against the background that failure to do so would leave Jamaica less prosperous than is expected.
“The youth share the same vision of Jamaica as most of us..so the point is that the youth might express their optimism, their hopes their visions in a different way but in practice their hopes are no different from ours. They are looking for strong leadership, they are looking for a crime free society. they are expecting to have an economy that will provide employment, they are looking for justice, they are expecting that their civil rights will be respected, indeed enlarged,” the Governor General stated.
He said further that young people expected to play their role in the country’s future and “all of us should support that initiative”.
The Governor General visited Clarendon as part of his island wide visit to become acquainted with Jamaicans. He commenced the series of visits on April 26 and has already been to the parishes of Hanover, St. Thomas, Westmoreland, St. James, Trelawny, Portland and St. Elizabeth.