KINGSTON — Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal yesterday presented gold awards to some 19 young people from high schools and community groups across the island,for successfully completing various pursuits under the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Jamaica.
At a ceremony at King’s House, the youngsters received the highest honour for their outstanding achievement in skill areas, community service, recreation and expedition in the presence of Their Excellencies, Governor General, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen and Lady Allen.
Guest speaker at the event, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Senator Warren Newby, congratulated the awardees on their outstanding achievement. He further encouraged them to continue to work hard and to give their best to the country’s development.
“Young people, this country need your leadership. I implore you to continue to…give service to your country and to pass on the good things that you have learned in this programme,” he remarked.
He noted that Jamaica “is at the cusp of its jubilee year and in order for us to capitalise on the promise of our island home, there is need for the youth of this nation to take personal, the Vision 2030 (national development plan), and believe that we too, can achieve developed nation status and take our rightful place in the order of the world."
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of practical, cultural and adventurous activities designed to support the personal and social development of young people age 14 to 25 years. Persons take part in the programme to gain an award, with each one requiring a greater degree of commitment.
The gold award, the highest honour, is presented to persons 16 years and older, who have completed eight months to two years of activities, and exhibit responsible adult behaviour and citizenship.
In April, some 128 high school students were presented with bronze and silver awards for successfully completing various pursuits.
For entry into the silver award category, youngsters should be 15 years or older and must be engaged in tasks for 12 to 18 months, while persons aged 14 years and older may gain the bronze award, which can be achieved between six months and a year.
To win an award, participants must complete activities in four sections for a specified minimum period. These include service, an adventurous journey, skills and physical recreation. There is an additional requirement of a residential project at the gold level.
By ATHALIAH REYNOLDS, JIS Reporter