Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): On Wednesday, November 19 the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis will pay tribute to young citizens that are making a positive impact in the lives of others.
This will take place during the annual 25 Most Remarkable Teens Award, which features a special sitting of the National Assembly where the stories of the young people are shared with the nation via a live television broadcast. They then receive encouraging words and awards from various members of parliament.
“We look forward to this very important gathering of some of our top young persons throughout the Federation,” said Chereca Weaver, a senior youth officer within the Department of Youth Empowerment – which spearheads the non-traditional recognition programme.
All nominees were interviewed by a panel of persons with extensive experience in youth work. They were then reviewed and the most outstanding were chosen based on an established criterion.
“The interesting thing is most of them could recount periods where they weren’t doing as well as they are doing now … and they were brave and able to articulate the key persons that said or did what they [at the time] considered to be minute. But those things are what drew [the teens] to embrace their greater selves,” Ms. Weaver said, adding that some of the stories are extremely powerful.
Citing two specific cases Ms. Weaver disclosed “After the young persons … shared some information, the panel had to literally stop [them] so we could absorb what they had just said and then we had to give instruction for certain information not to be recorded because it was so personal.”
The senior youth officer explained that while the details were verified with relevant agencies or individuals to ensure authenticity, some of that information will remain unpublished so as to respect privacy guidelines. However, there were other compelling stories of courage, perseverance and achievement that “reminded of the purpose of the programme.”
“We really hope that persons who have young children or young people would create a space (of time) for them to watch [the award ceremony],” she stated, highlighting the live broadcast on November 19 at 7:30 p.m on ZIZ television. Ms. Weaver explained that this will help youth to realize that there are other young persons making the same positive impact or overcoming similar challenges a lot closer to home than they might think.