THE Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs ’40 under 40’ School Caravan continued on Friday morning at the Mucurapo West Secondary School.
Shamfa Cudjoe, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, and members of her Ministry were on hand at Friday’s event, along with eight of the Ministry’s Youth Development influencers – national rugby player Kwanieze John, news presenter Verna Bharath, gospel singer Joel “Positive” Murray, entertainer Rodell “Rodey” Cumberbatch, fashion manager Jamilia Alexander, and designers Sanian Lewis, Natalie Fonrose and Shari Cumberbatch.
Cudjoe said, “I’m happy with the progress of the project. We kicked off on May 1 by having a little launch. We got together the presenters and (Friday was) their second stop as it relates to the school caravan. Last week, we were at Belmont Secondary and next week we head to Scarborough.
“This is the first as it relates to an initiative of this nature, where we get the youth influencers, the movers and shakers in their own rights,” continued the Sports minister. “We have (entrepreneurs), sportsmen, entertainers and we even have some pilots involved in the project.
“We’re trying to expose young people to the many avenues as it relates to employment and entrepreneurship, letting them know that there are other avenues and areas to direct their energies, and putting them in contact with positive people.”
According to Cudjoe, “Oftentimes you only hear the negative news surrounding youths. We want our young people to move in a more positive direction and get that intimate interaction with other young people who are doing great things and getting them excited about the project.”
Asked how was the project conceptualised, Cudjoe replied, “It was an idea I had because I came through the youth movement. Role models go a long way in influencing people’s lives. I want to highlight the positive stories.”
Cudjoe said she experimented with her idea during an International Women’s Day function at the Office of the Prime Minister, Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s in March.
“We got influencers to the table and it went well,” said Cudjoe. “So, I (decided) to expand this thing and take it throughout the schools, and it seems to be going well.”
She continued, “I’m happy that the influencers came on (for) free. I think we have about 53, not all fully confirmed, but they’re very much excited and interested. We’re going to keep it going.”