Director of Administration and Human Resource at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Errol Gardener, has urged students at the St. Catherine-based Spanish Town Young Men’s Christian Association, to focus on realizing their full potential.
Mr. Gardener told them that if they focus on where they want to go, study hard and listen to responsible individuals, they will become successful in whatever career they choose.
“Your parents or guardians who sent you here are being responsible, because they want to see change in you. And you need to focus on the things that can change your life,” Mr. Gardener emphasized to his young audience, drawn mainly from challenged communities.
Male students at the Spanish Town YMCA attending the closing ceremony of a one week behaviour modification retreat held Wednesday (August 18), at the Vision Nazarene Retreat Centre, in Mandeville.
“If you find yourself in a situation where you might have to fight, try your best to resolve it. And whatever field that you choose in life, make sure that you get the best training, by studying hard. Let no one tell you that you can’t be what you want to be. You determine your own future; when you focus, you will prove to those who might doubt your resolve, that they are wrong,” he added.
He was speaking Wednesday (August 18) at the closing of a one week behavioural modification retreat, put on by the Spanish Town YMCA, at the Vision Nazarene Retreat Centre, Mandeville, for 25 boys.
Kenado Gordon, who was awarded the most disciplined boy, told JIS News that he got the award because he “participated fully and behaved like a man”.
“If you behave like a gangster, you will be in trouble with the law, so you have to be a gentleman. Those boys who are behaving like gangsters must shape up and be a man. Change your behaviour and control your anger,” he told JIS News.
Top Boy at the one week behaviour modification retreat for male students at the Spanish Town YMCA, Gary Blake (Right), accepting his prize from Special Projects Manager at the JIS, Latoya Crossman Wednesday (August 18). The retreat was held at Mandeville’s Vision Nazarene Retreat Centre.
Gary Blake, who was crowned the top boy at the retreat, praised his teachers and parents for allowing him to attend the session as, he said, it has helped him to be always mindful of pitfalls that he must avoid.
“Thanks to my guidance counsellor and my principal, they are responsible for me being here, and I feel proud of myself; and my word to my friends is not to keep bad company, it can lead you astray and you can end up dead,” he argued.
Guidance counsellor and Chaplin at the institution, the Rev Joseph Brown, said the boys who were selected displayed serious anger problems, were involved in conflicts and showed disrespectful behaviour.
“But, we are seeing tremendous improvement. They learned to live together, I saw the older ones taking care of the younger ones and they dealt with conflict on their own, and resolved them without referring them to us,” he said.
The retreat was held under the theme, “I Take Responsibility for my Behavior”. It was sponsored mainly by the Spanish Town Based Colt Hardware, the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), Musson Jamaica Limited, Wind Traders, with logistic support from the JIS.
Special Projects Manager at the JIS, Latoya Crossman, presented the prizes to the awardees.