This story is about the 3rd Annual National Youth Awards held on November 28, 2008 at the Dominica State House where I was privileged to give an address as President of the National Youth Council. Read on please:
By EDONA JNO BAPTISTE, Dominica News Staff 01.DEC.08
In excess of 20 youths and groups were awarded at the 3rd annual National Youth Awards ceremony last Saturday for their contributions to achievements in various sectors of society.
In his address, President of the National Youth Council (NYC), Delroy Williams said although they cannot reward the contribution of all youths but is hopeful that they will continue the task of national development.
“These young people go out everyday despite difficult and trying circumstances, with little or no complaint and put their minds, hearts and efforts into their selective fields of service. In every sector within our country we can point out youths who are making their marks or have already made their marks...So this moment is as much theirs as it is ours, so our hearts go out to them, the unsung heroes of Dominica,” Williams stated.
He expressed confidence in the sustenance of the National Youth awards ceremony.
“While we reward present contributions, the 2007-2009 Executive is also cognizant of the fact that the National Youth Council would not exist without the contributions of a number of individuals who have given so much of themselves. We feel that now is an appropriate time to show appreciation for their contribution in youth development and more specifically their contribution to the development of the National Youth Council of Dominica,” Williams added.
Whilst recognising the contributions of the past presidents, he urged them to continue their work within the Council.
Williams said NYC promotes a culture of giving persons their flowers while they are alive.
“I would also like to thank the former Minister of Education, Human Resource Development, Sports and Youth Affairs, the Honourable Vince Henderson for his valuable assistance during his tenure. We do wish him within his new ministry. His contributions will be dearly missed although we are fully aware that his heart will always be with the youth of Dominica. His departure though, has given the Council the opportunity to work with an accomplished educator in the person of Honourable Senator Sonia Williams. On behalf of the thousands of Dominican youth, the Executive and staff of the National Youth Council we welcome the Senator to her new position and we pledge our fullest support as we jointly endeavour to provide young persons with the necessary resources and opportunities to contribute to national development,” he noted.
Minister of Youth affairs, Sonia Williams encouraged the youth to make positive contributions to society. She also asked them to recognise the potential that they possess.“I want to exhort you as well to understand that education is very, very important and it is becoming more and more important because of what is happening on the global front,” Williams added.
Three new segments were added this year for Faith Based group, Up and Coming Musical Band and Service Youth Group or Club.The awardees in the various areas are: Sanella Sanford (academic excellence), Denis Belle Jr. (athletic achievement) Pauline Williams (community involvement), Donavan Samuel (culture/heritage), Jodi Williams (exemplary leadership), Caribbean Vibes (up and coming musical band), Rotaract Club (service youth group or club), Faith in Action Group of Newtown (faith based group), Glenda Walters (beyond expectations), Mikael Ferrol (legacy award), Malcolm Wallace (agriculture), Frankie Phillip (entrepreneurship/business), Claudius Sanford (political involvement/activism), Shane White (excellence in spite of disability), Tsehai Grell (President's award).
Steve Joseph, Nash Mitchell and Kelver Darroux received the Past President's recognition award. Darroux did not serve his full tenure as NYC president following his resignation in September. The NYC executive presented a special gift to Delroy Williams for taking up the leadership role.
Titus Francis and Edward Registe were absent to receive the Past President’s awards.
The ceremony’s theme was ‘Recognizing the contribution of Dominican youth.’