CMEx leaves lasting impression on St. Lucian youth

Derek Glace

RODNEY BAY, St. Lucia…By Sarah Munn (March 9, 2010) – International School of St. Lucia students Derek Glace and Jacoba Vlugman are hard at work in their second semester of Grade 11, but their experience at CMEx, the Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism, has not been forgotten. “I thoroughly enjoyed the CMEx conference in December,” says Vlugman. She commented on how attending CMEx really gets the mind thinking. “I met many brilliant people from around the world whose thoughts and ideas challenged my perspective on different issues.”

Derek Glace also described his experience at CMEx. “As a youth delegate, I offered my thoughts and opinions on situations concerning young people and our environmental impact. I learned about the problems facing the tourism industry in the Caribbean. Having gained this knowledge, I obtained a wider perspective and insight as to how I can make a difference.”

In addition to learning how they can get involved in this field, the entire student group noticed the family concept CMEx is known for. Jacoba Vlugman elaborated, “Even though the conference was brimming with information, I think perhaps the greatest benefit I gained was feeling more comfortable with public speaking. The fact that everybody at the conference made us feel so comfortable made me less insecure. I was able to speak in front of everyone without a problem!”

Jacoba Vlugman

CMEx has impacted these students greatly. It has given them confidence, im parted knowledge, taught them presentation skills, inspired them to make their own business cards, and has even led to a unique opportunity.

Communication between CMEx delegate Marianne Larned and the International School of St. Lucia has now created a tie between Martha’s Vineyard and St. Lucia. Jacoba Vlugman has been chosen as a student representative to attend a youth conference on the North American island. “CMEx has brought up the opportunity for me to go to Martha’s Vineyard at the end of June this year for a conference on sustainable development, where the youth will be heavily involved.”

Vlugman and Glace were part of the first student group to ever attend CMEx. Both are grateful for the opportunity and are looking forward to participating at future CMEx conferences.

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