JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Young residents of August Town are being encouraged to use education to combat poverty, and to exercise self-control to stay out of trouble.
  • Global News Products Inc. CEO, Dennis Richards, told the group, comprising students, parents and volunteers that poverty should not prevent any of them from achieving their goals.
  • Mr. Richards also warned of the dangers of truancy, and becoming involved in intimate relationships too early.

Young residents of August Town who are participating in the University of Technology’s (UTech) Teach the Youth  programme, now underway in six inner city communities, are being encouraged to use education to combat poverty, and to exercise self-control to stay out of trouble.

Speaking in the empowerment segment of  the programme, at the August Town Community Centre recently, attorney-at-law and Chief Executive Officer of Global News Products Inc., Dennis Richards, told the group, comprising students, parents and volunteers that poverty should not prevent any of them from achieving their goals.

“Many people are broke and still go to school. Many go to school without lunch money. You see, if you have no money, that is when you need to go to school, so that you don’t spend your whole life broke. It is when things are going really bad that you (more than ever) need to go to school.  It’s when it gets tough that you need to step up harder,” Mr. Richards, who is also a business analyst, advised.

Mr. Richards also warned of the dangers of truancy, and becoming involved in intimate relationships too early. “It’s not worth it,” he counseled.

Addressing the issue of crime among the youth, he expressed alarm at the number of youngsters who appear before the court to answer to charges. He noted that cases take time to be disposed of, and children who must go to court are often absent from school.

“You would be amazed at how young the people who come to court are, sometimes 10 and 12 years old. Young people who can’t focus, they will get into trouble,” Mr. Richards said.

He also noted that many of the offences occur because of lack of self control. “Sometimes they (youth) can’t control themselves. Somebody pushes them, and instead of taking it easy, they stab the person. And they end up spending two years of their lives before the judge (in court). The truth is, you cannot do anything of value in your life, unless you can control yourself,” Mr. Richards said.

He encouraged them to go back to school in September with a new attitude and a determination to succeed by applying themselves diligently to studying.

The outreach programme is being held this year under the theme: ‘Seize your dream…Wake the Hero Within’. It seeks to enhance the literacy and numeracy skills of the participants, and to transform, educate, sustain and develop students through motivational presentations.

Now in its 15th year, the programme, which is organised and run by volunteers of UTech’s Student’s Union, is being held from July 7 to August 25, in the St. Andrew communities of Kintyre, Sandy Park, August Town, Highlight View, Saunders, Tavern and August Town.