Youth encouraged to become volunteers

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Young people should become more involved in volunteerism and seek to make a positive change in society.
That was the advice given to the 22 participants of the Youth Today programme by Alincia Williams-Grant, President of the Senate of Antigua and Barbuda, at the programme’s closing ceremony on Friday.
In her keynote address, Williams-Grant said that young people are the present leaders of economic development and prosperity for the country.
“The future is now; it’s today. Small societies like ours need [the youth and] your creativity, we need your innovative [ideas], your fresh minds – the way you think, the way you see things differently to us, the new perspectives you bring. With that, we expect transformative changes in our daily lives and we also expect that transformative change will translate into a strong economy,” she said.
Williams-Grant praised the fact that many of the participants of the programme were young women and called on them to seek political office to transform public policy.
“Your future must include the aspiration for political office – the highest decision-making position in this country or in any country that upholds democracy. What better way to bring about the change that we want to see than sitting in the seat of parliament where legislation is made,” she said, adding that young women “can bring about the radical change that many of us desperately desire to see in our political leaders.”
She also told participants to use the technology to make a positive change.
The Youth Today programme was established by Rose-Mary Reynolds to promote social issue awareness and professional development amongst Antigua’s youth through education and volunteerism.
Reynolds said that the reason for creating the programme was that she always believed that young people should become more involved in volunteerism.
“This was just a small idea I [had shared] with a few of my friends and we wanted to do something to give back and when I was 15, 16 – around your age – we never had [a youth volunteerism programme],” she said.
Several participants also spoke at the event, stating that the programme has positively impacted their lives and expressed hope that more youth would get involved in the programme.
One of the participants said that, “if we encourage the youth of today and tomorrow, we will positively impact Antigua because Antigua is a small [island] and we all can do something [to make it better].”

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