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Prime Minister Bruce Golding, has urged young people to be assertive, claim their space and not to be intimidated by the generation gap.
He noted that there was a time when young people were expected to be seen and not heard but times have changed. “The future does not belong to my generation. We are runners in a relay and as one generation hands over the baton, the next generation has to take it and hand it over to the next. Don’t fight the generation gap, bridge the gap”, Mr. Golding urged in his address to young people at the Prime Minister’s National Youth Awards for Excellence yesterday (Nov 30), at the Emancipation Park in Kingston.
Mr. Golding noted that the world has changed and is driven by technology which requires knowledge and brain power in order to succeed. He said too many people were leaving school not much better than when they went in. While admitting that there is a need to improve conditions in the schools, Mr. Golding said the society was facing a lack of appreciation for education and the importance of acquiring knowledge. The Prime Minister called on the 37 young people nominated for the Awards of Excellence, to lead a new generation and to help to light a fire of excitement to inspire other young people to make good use of their youth. He noted that they may become complacent and defer things they should accomplish now. “All of you who have been nominated have demonstrated that age is no restriction to achieving success. You have pulled away the curtain to demonstrate that young people can accomplish anything”, Mr. Golding said.

Minister of Information Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange ( at podium) addresseing the group of nominees at the Prime Minister’s National Youth Award of Excellence at Emancipation Park on Sunday (Nov. 30). The young people were recognized for their outstanding contribution in the various fields including journalism, entrepreneurship, agriculture, leadership service, academics, sports, arts and culture.

In her address, Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, noted that the awards were introduced to recognise young people who have excelled and contributed to national development and to give them a platform to showcase their achievements in various fields. She said the world is no longer an average one and that people everywhere were striving to be the best. The Awards were presented by the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD) – a division of the Ministry, under the theme, ‘I can, We can, Youth can Achieve Greatness’.
Also delivering an inspiring and highly charged address to the young people was special guest Judge Joe Brown, the non-traditional presiding judge of the syndicated reality American courtroom TV show. He called on the young people to behave responsibly, not to have children while they are still children themselves and for the community to play its part in ensuring that each child is given the opportunity to make their contribution to their community. “Jamaica you are great, each and everyone of you should work to make your country the best in the world. Not I can, but I shall”, he charged.
The Prime Minister’s National Youth awards saw awards being presented to outstanding young people in the areas of journalism, entrepreneurship, agriculture, leadership, service, academics, sports arts and culture. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the awards.

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