VOLUNTEERS who worked with the August Town group of students in the University of Technology Student Council’s summer outreach project, ‘Teach the Youth’, have given this year’s programme a passing grade in both the academic and personal development components.

“I think we achieved our goal at 75 per cent,” Roshane Chambers, Centre Manager for August Town said on July 30, the final teaching day of the programme.

He noted that the project benefited from the support of members of the community who assisted in maintaining discipline among the students.

“Some of the centres have adults who come and oversee in the days, so whenever students are not behaving (well), they take them out, reprimand them and then bring them back into the class,” he informed.

Chambers said that for the August Town programme, which had a total enrolment of close to 90 students, in addition to the core curriculum which included mathematics, English, science and social studies, the motivational and personal development sessions were effective in reinforcing lessons in perseverance and determination.

“All the teachers took some students aside and talked to them about their stories, told them other stories to help them to understand that they can make it,” noted Chambers, who has been a volunteer for five years.

For his part, Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Director of Corporate Services, Errol Gardner, who addressed the group on the topic: ‘Unleash Your Potential…Empowered for Greatness’, urged the students to find and pursue their full potential.

Gardner implored them not to listen to those who declare that they will not “come out to anything”.

He outlined some of the threats to success, including not being willing to make sacrifices, making excuses and developing no plans for one’s life.

“You must be willing to make sacrifices. That means that you can’t be in bed at 8:30 when you are supposed to be going to school. Always plan what you are doing and remember no dream is too small,” he said.

Gardner told the youngsters that their success depends greatly on believing that they can do anything they want to do, or be whatever they want to be, while encouraging them to examine themselves to find their true calling.

He said while seeking and accepting help is good, their independence is important. He also urged them not to be caught up with bitterness.

“The only person who can defeat you is you… you must believe in yourself,” he encouraged.

Jamaica Observer