A refreshing and welcome change
By Joyce Sinclair
Guyana Chronicle
January 8, 2003

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SINCERE congratulations to the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) on its 2003 calendar. If you have not yet seen one get one and read it. For the patriot, the national, the believer in the potential of our young people, it will warm your hearts. For those who are sick and tired of the single-type emphasis on gunmen in the headlines of our dailies, it is a welcome relief. Guyanese are good at many things other than crime. Good things are happening in many other areas of our existence. I hear about these every day in various places. We celebrate them very confidentially here and there. But our headlines about crime rarely change.

This calendar recognises six of Guyana's brilliant Young Achievers from a broad spectrum of our society, from various regions, backgrounds, interests and races. There is a picture of one achiever for every two-month page of the calendar. I am positive that the organisers of the production of this calendar had an extremely difficult time deciding on which six of the many young achievers to use for this first issue.

I am impressed not only with outstanding performance at their various schools, but even more with the community-orientation of each person at such a very young age:

Stacy's dedication, her organising at a young age, Christmas parties for children in depressed communities, her visits to the Convalescent Home, Joshua House and St. Ann's Orphanage as well as her work with rural communities through involvement with Inner Wheel and Rotary Clubs. Stacy is 13 years old.

Vishal's sharing of his love for and achievements with the violin with school and church groups, his winning of the Phillip Pilgrim Memorial Harp in 2001 and 2002, his selection by the Ministry of Sports and Culture to represent Guyana at the Music Contest in Canada in May 2003. He is 16 years.

Cherisa's contribution to her country in the field of Athletics...A national athlete, gold and bronze medal winner, the sharing of her talents with her peers in church and school, her contribution to her school's club ‘Youth Serving Others’ and her work on community projects at the Palms and the Dharm Shala and her winning of a bronze award under the President's Youth Award Republic of Guyana Programme. Cherisa is 16 years old.

Stephon's community work in Region Nine, his involvement with the Community leaders, his teaching the youths computer skills and the use of the Internet and his work in the Lethem/St Ignatius Young Achievers Club, teaching leadership skills and his organisation of clean-up campaigns. Stephon is 15 years old.

Asha's sharing of her musical talents with her community at graduations, international conferences. Her work as a member of the Toucan 11 Multipurpose club.

Tariq's contribution to his school because of his prize-winning propensity whether it be debating, Environmental Protection Agency school quiz or Science and Technology Fair and the vision of his own life. Tariq is 14 years old.

Let us focus on the many positives in our Guyanese society, and there are many. Let us celebrate the lives of these beautiful young people. Let us encourage them. Let us develop other young people. Let us teach them strength of character, discipline and respect. Let us do it in all our schools. It does pay off in the end. As said in the earlier part of this Viewpoint, we are good at many other things apart from crime. Media, where are you?

Congratulations again to GBTI! I am looking forward to next year's calendar for a continuation of this Young Achievers' Recognition.

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