Young males urged to focus on positives

Thursday, February 22, 2018

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ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) — Education Officer for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information's Region IV, Stokely Reid, is imploring the country's young males to focus on the positives, noting that their dreams can be realised as long as they work steadfastly and earnestly towards these goals.

“Stop looking at the past and the negativity and what will hold us down and start looking at where we want to go despite the fact that things may not be the best in our lives,” he noted.

“We can achieve anything. That must be how we change the narrative. The story of our generation must not be primarily negative… we have to change that. There are a lot of positives that we can talk about, and once we keep talking about the positives, we put ourselves where the positives take us,” he added.

Reid was speaking at a one-day conference for teenage schoolboys staged by the University of the West Indies' (UWI) Open Campus in Montego Bay on February 21 at the Grandiosa Hotel in the second city.

The event, under the theme 'Be bold. Change the narrative: harnessing the power and potential of young adult males', was aimed at celebrating masculinity, as well as engaging young males who are considered at-risk and who were not necessarily a part of any of the formal leadership positions or groups in schools.

It was held as part of the institution's year-long calendar of events in commemoration of its 10th anniversary.

Among the institutions that participated were Herbert Morrison Technical, Harrison Memorial, Green Pond, Spot Valley and Cambridge high schools and Cornwall College in St James as well as Hopewell High School in Hanover.

Reid told the youngsters, who span grades 11 to 13, that there are many positive male role models across the country, to whom young men could look for inspiration and emulation, but, oftentimes, these persons are not highlighted.

“Many young men are not doing well academically and in new fields of business. When we apply our minds as Jamaicans to do anything, we can reach the stars. Once we apply ourselves, there is no limit that can be set on us. We are among the most skilled artisans and construction workers. We are in demand in the United States, in Canada, in the United Kingdom,” he noted.

“Jamaicans are among the most creative innovators in the world. Look at our music. When Bob Marley died he was in his 30s. Look at Chronixx, just a little older than you are,” he added.

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