The Royal Bank of Canada recognized the effort of hundreds of secondary school students for their practice in leadership during the RBC Young Leaders Awards Ceremony that took place on Thursday June 11, 2015 at Sandals Halcyon. To date, this flagship youth development programme of RBC Royal Bank has been running for 32 years across the Caribbean.
The 2014/2015 addressed theme was Digital Citizenship – Responsibly Navigating Technology. Scholars were challenged to become advocates for responsible digital citizenship through the promotion of technical/ and or social skills that would enable others to be successful and safe in the information age.
Pupils were asked to develop strategies that could prepare individuals for living and learning in a technology-rich society. Their projects were to help others understand the need for personal responsibility as it pertains to their online uses and empower members of their school and community to make appropriate, ethical decisions in the online world.
Examples of some of the approaches undertaken were the creation of an app named ‘Tempus’ by St Joseph’s Convent that prioritized individuals’ time online; posters and billboard design on the subject by Plage Secondary; George Charles Secondary producing a video; Ciceron Secondary an edu-game CD; St Mary’s College a Facebook page, website and various other media; Gros Islet Secondary inventing a Mascot; Choiseul Secondary forming a workshop, community drive, leaflets and changing of school policy; Soufriere Comprehensive producing a music video and tech day; and Entrepôt Secondary holding talks and conferences for both schools and parents.
The student members of the young leaders group of their respective schools all exuded confidence when speaking of their experience with the task, all admitting it was not an easy one.
This year’s guest speaker was Radio St. Lucia journalist/host Shelton Daniel who shared his insight on leadership: “When I look at the projects you have undertaken, I tell myself that leadership is something; too often we have too narrow a focus on leadership; we always believe that leadership is about the Prime Minister and about the ministers and about the governor and the pastor of the church and the manager, when there is a leader and should be a leader in each and everyone of us.” Daniel also gave encouragement to students to continue leadership outside the programme and suggested the juniors use technology for citizen journalism to expose wrongdoing via the correct avenues.
The most abstract piece was awarded to the boys of St Mary’s College and the most outstanding young leader award went to Shervale James of Choiseul Secondary School.
The award of honour went to Ciceron Secondary School. The award of excellence was again given to Soufriere Secondary which has been in receipt of this award for two consecutive years. The award of distinction presented by Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy went to Choiseul Secondary who have impressively won first place for four consecutive years.
With the teachers’ awards, first place went to Ciceron Secondary, second place to Soufriere Comprehensive and third place to Choiseul Secondary.
The Judge award went to Nurse Patricia James.