President's Note - September 2016

This month’s President’s message is Tricia Leid’s speech at the formal Launch of the AFETT's REACH Mentorship Programme in Palo Seco. Read more about the event here.

September 11, 2016

We are very proud to be here this afternoon in collaboration with the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, to formally launch the AFETT REACH Mentorship Programme in the Palo Seco Settlement. This Launch serves as a reminder that dreams can come true. Mentoring is the foundation of who we are as people, and our social interaction is how we learn. When we reflect, do you remember the time before you were you? Before all the choices you made and the people who cared along the way. Who was there for you? Who helped you and believed in you before you believed in yourself? What if you wished for more guidance in your life from persons of different communities, cultural and career backgrounds? How could your life be different today?

Children naturally seek this foundation daily as they mature and grow into adulthood, however, not many have the same opportunities. It is not uncommon that many bright young ladies do not aspire to be successful because they lack the confidence to pursue their dreams. Other times, the opportunities are not easily accessible. Whereas, having a supportive parent or teacher is immeasurable. It gives additional guidance to build leadership skills; choose a career path; gain self-confidence to interact and contribute socially. These are also important skills.

Mentoring in rural communities can face unique challenges such as recruitment, retention and transportation, which may prevent groups affording the resources to conduct sessions. However, these are the areas that need such programmes the most. It may be difficult to articulate the impact one person may have on the life of a mentee, but it is assured that the benefits are quickly noticed after a few focused sessions. Mentoring is a shared opportunity for learning and growth. Mentees get to have fun while learning about their hopes and dreams. Setting goals will allow the girls to know that they have a purpose. Learning about themselves and personality type will allow them to stretch beyond who they think they are, and setting objectives will allow them to plan a path to achieving these dreams.

The AFETT REACH Mentorship Programme has been successful with group mentorship sessions at Belmont Secondary School, at the Orange Grove Girls holding facility, the Oropune Police Youth Club, and the recently concluded session at the Gasparillo community in Santa Cruz, to name a few. The National Mentoring Resource Center in the United States indicated that group mentoring is just as effective as one-on-one sessions and can produce an array of positive outcomes for youth. These can be behavioural, emotional and academic. Career focused mentoring gives youth a better chance at building a future. They can learn more, earn more; their health is valued, and they are more likely to avoid negative influences. These results translate into a positive impact within our neighbourhood and contribute to building our communities. Research shows that 78% of

AFETT President, Tricia Leid, at REACH Mentorship Programme in Palo Seco Settlement.

mentored youth become volunteers, 55% enrol in university, a remarkable 130% hold leadership positions, and 90% of mentees become mentors as adults who add to the ripple effect in building our nation.

 

Whereas one may believe that the ability to ace every exam will lead to one’s success, research has shown that the child, teen or adult that makes the best of opportunities that arise, are the ones more likely to be successful. Therefore, get up, show up and contribute. This is the only sure way you can move on to the other levels of your life.       

 

We are at the age of enlightenment where information is more easily accessible on the internet and news from around the world is reported hourly during the day. This information can also be a distraction as social media has become a way of life. Youth also need to understand social media etiquette, as this will assist in having a focused approach to behavioural skills that simple discipline can bring.

We could not be here today without the support of Dr. the Honourable Nyan Elizabeth Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts. The Minister is kind and gracious, and we sincerely appreciate her for giving the ladies of AFETT an ear to discuss our plans for our community. We do not take this opportunity for granted, and neither should the mentees or their parents. Thank you for having us. 

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