The Cherry Community Youth Society in West Central St. Catherine has honoured 22 persons who have contributed to the building of their communities through education, employment and the provision of services.
At the ceremony held on January 1, the recipients were given plaques and certificates and provided with dinner in the community’s square.
Member of the organising committee, Keneisha Brown, told JIS News that the event resulted from a decision to do something “extra special” for persons who have impacted the area positively, and to also uplift those who have served well.
“We aim to identify individuals who have served the community well, and play a positive role towards the youth and their development,” she said, adding that this was the second staging of the event, which has received strong support from young persons in the area.
Meanwhile, Press Secretary in the Office of the Governor-General, Sonja Simms, said she was impressed with the passion of the youth, and that their work exemplifies the Governor-General, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen’s mantra of “fixing what is wrong with Jamaica with what is right about Jamaica”.
“I believe that once there is a shared understanding between the young and the old, we are on the path for sustainable development and the bright future we seek,” she told the audience.
Miss Simms called on community members to “break down” everything that divides them and to make peace with each other, and like the awardees, “shine our light so bright that others will be inspired to impact their own communities positively”.
Alfredo Jennings, who replied on behalf of the employers, said they appreciated the honour.
“We will try, as employers, to ensure that we have job opportunities for those who are willing to work,” he told the gathering.
For Sharon McLeod, who spoke on behalf of the teachers, it is encouraging when youth in communities see it fit to acknowledge the role of teachers. “This gesture to show gratitude to us is welcomed,” she said.
Lety Cross, who represented the service providers, said with young people “moving this way, the future looks bright”.