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The University of Technology (UTech), launched its 14th annual outreach programme, ‘Teach the Youth 2013’, under the theme: ‘Creating a Positive Impact Today on the Youth of Tomorrow’, at the campus in Kingston, on July 4.

The programme, organized by the Students’ Union, targets children between four and 20 years of age, in the communities of August Town, Kintyre, Tavern, Highlight View and Sandy Park.

Guest Speaker at the ceremony, Team Leader for the St. Ann Division of the Child Development Agency (CDA), Carlyn Stewart, said as a developing nation, “we have to identify opportunities to empower the youth with relevant skills and competencies as they prepare to take the reins of tomorrow.”

“It is evident that the UTech students fully understand the importance of harnessing the talent of today’s youth. While others in the society understand the importance, very few of us actively engage in programmes that specifically target the youth,” she said.

Mrs. Stewart said the best interest of every Jamaican child must be ensured and the protection of children can only be guaranteed if “we join forces as a society and share this awesome role.”

Meanwhile, President of UTech, Professor Errol Morrison, commended the students for the work being done.

“Those of us at the tertiary level are the privileged few. So, if you are able to turn around and help in some way, it’s a major contribution. I want to congratulate the student body for maintaining this activity,” he said.

For his part, Director of Community Service in the Students’ Union, Jerome Graham, said the initiative is a big step forward for the Council as “we seek to reshape the lives of the youth, so that the entire outlook on life is changed regardless of their addresses.”

Vice President of Public Relations, Delta Wright, explained the anticipated outcome of the programme.

“Our aim this year is to impact the lives and minds of these young people, ultimately reshaping the way in which they think, how they feel, and how they view life; allowing them to see the variety of opportunities and options for them to excel and help their community move forward,” she said.

Throughout the duration of the programme (July 8-26), volunteers from UTech and the National Youth Service (NYS), along with other persons, will volunteer their service to help the youth of the targeted communities.

Sponsors of the summer programme are Supreme Ventures, Food for the Poor, the Jamaica Information Service, Junior Chamber International, Reggae Jammin’ and Red Bull.

By Christine Ade-Gold, JIS Special Projects Officer

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