Following her attendance at the recent Global Youth Leaders Conference (GYLC) in New York and Washington, D.C., Alcia Patricia Gloreen Brown of St. Jago High School, in St. Catherine, has returned home.
Alcia was featured earlier this year as the sixth former asking for corporate Jamaica's assistance with fees for her to attend the conference.
After a week and a half of training and attending conferences conducted by the organisers, and living and socialising with “over 300 other young people from over 70 countries around the world,” she told JIS News that the attendees were split into various country-groups, which represented the countries on the United Nations Council
Alcia recalled how she began training as soon as she got to the location. “The first night was hectic and the schedules were tight. We didn’t have much time to have social activities. At nights, after a day of conferences, you had to read to prepare for the following day. You could not be unprepared,” she said.
She told JIS News that she had to prepare a speech. “I can remember how I had to make an opening speech on the second day in front of everybody. They were amazed at how well it was written and delivered, and since then they referred to me as ‘The Jamaican Girl’,” she added.
The attendees were given topics to focus on and they had to use facts and analysis to pin point the areas of priority. “There were topics that we had to focus on that affect the world, such as hunger, health care, and education, and formulate faultless resolutions as the presentation is made, ensuring that the room of critics weren’t able to find any loopholes,” she said.
Alcia pointed out that the conference benefitted her in public speaking, as she basically became the main spokesperson for her group. “The experience was great. It’s a plausible effort by the Global Youth Leaders’ Conference to put on such an annual event that aids in the development of young people,” she noted.
She remembered the site visit that stands out the most in her mind – The Holocaust. “There were Jews among us who really became emotional during that tour as some of them had their families and relatives almost wiped out during that time. There were pictures, clothes, shackles, weapons everywhere. It was truly an unforgettable experience,” she said.
They also visited the War Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and Thomas Jefferson Memorial.
Alcia received a Certificate of Merit from the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, which read: ‘Certificate of Merit awarded in recognition of outstanding dedication to educational achievement, strength of character and leadership’.
At the end of the Conference, a formal dinner was held to make the special awards and to bid farewell. “We ended with a formal dinner which was a very bitter- sweet time, as we were happy yet sad, because we would be leaving the friends we made,” Alcia said.
Alcia thanked Corporate Jamaica for the “mind blowing experience. It was humbling and I am happy that I was given the chance to boost my leadership development and my personal development as well."
"I am grateful to Jamaica Public Service Company Limited; Co-operative Credit Union and Partners; Jamaica Information Service; St. Jago High and my principal; the St. Jago Past Students’ Association; my church family, my family, and friends. It is highly appreciated. It was not in vain,” she said.
This scholar and future leader was successful in her CAPE exams in Biology, Chemistry, Sociology and Caribbean Studies. She has also received a full scholarship to attend the University of the West Indies (Mona) to study Nursing, her first love.