Professor Hall Hails NYS Leadership Programme

Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor Kenneth Hall, has lauded the National Youth Service’s (NYS) leadership corps programme, as an initiative that will aid in the development of the nation’s young people.
“The programme is increasing the number of young people at the community level, who are equipped with the right skills, knowledge and attitudes to positively influence their peers,” he stated.
Professor Hall, who was addressing the closing ceremony for participants in the programme, held this morning (April 27) at King’s House, said that training in leadership skills was important “in the present context of the Jamaican society, where young people account for a major segment of the population. Over 58 per cent of the population is under 30, while almost 20 per cent are between 15 and 24 years of age.”
He noted that studies have shown that while some youth leaders were on the cusp of taking on more significant leadership roles, there are others who have not yet been widely identified or nurtured because of limited opportunities to display their talents.
“Young people are often challenged to seek after opportunities to express their creativity and innovativeness in the society. However, some of them question whether such opportunities exist in Jamaica, and in fact in the entire world, given the daily challenges this segment of the population experiences,” Professor Hall said.
He pointed to the need for more focus to be placed on existing programmes and opportunities that are building the capacity of young people, and allowing them to make a meaningful contribution to the nation’s advancement.
“Those of you who graduate today, have been empowered to help transform the leadership potential of young and non-traditional leaders, as well as inspire your peers to explore more deeply, the value of leadership for personal, community and national advancement,” said Professor Hall.
In her remarks, Minister of Education and Youth, Maxine Henry-Wilson commended the programme, “as the kind of (initiative) that we want to endorse and embrace and the kind of programme that will take our country forward.”
She informed that since the re-launch of the NYS in 1995 “we have trained about 20,000 participants and these 20,000 young people have been re-socialised, but they have also have a significant impact on their peers.”
The leadership corps programme is implemented by the NYS in collaboration with the National Centre for Youth Development.
Participants in the programme receive training in youth development work, which will provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge to support the growth and development of youth clubs across the island.

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