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Her Excellency, the Most Hon. Lady Allen, has called on the nation’s youth to adopt the attitude of care and love that is hinged on the principle of being “our brother’s keeper”.

“No longer do we seem to care about the welfare of our fellow citizens. I refuse to believe that we all have become cold and uncaring. It is up to all of us to ensure the safety of our communities, and by extension our country. Our future depends on it,” she said.

Lady Allen was delivering a motivational speech to students at Immaculate Conception High School in St. Andrew on Monday (November 26).

She encouraged the girls to focus on their studies and avoid distractions, noting that the choices they make now could have a direct impact on their future.

“Ensure that their educational foundation is solid. The social scene will always be around. You’ll have time later to explore the glitz and glamour and city lights. Maintain your focus now, and later on in life you’ll never ever regret that decision,” she said.

Lady Allen further urged the students to “always strive to be the best version of themselves” and live by the mantra of the Governor-General’s ‘I Believe Initiative’, which states that “there is nothing wrong with Jamaica that cannot be fixed by what is right”.

“Most importantly, seek out areas in which you can be of service. Give of your time, your youth and your talent to the development of your communities, your parish and your nation at large,” she said.

She noted that as a student, she was an ardent member of the 4-H Clubs, where she learnt skills such as cooking, baking, agriculture and horticulture.

“The skills I garnered and the competitions I entered helped to shape my life, boost my confidence, and prepared me for life… . I made the right decisions at the right time,” she said.

Lady Cooke encouraged the students to develop a spirit of positivity, never listen to negativity and believe in themselves.