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Jun 27, 2014

54 young men graduate from the Southside Youth Success Project

A graduating class of fifty-four young men has successfully completed the Southside Youth Success Project.  During a brief commencement exercise on Wednesday afternoon at the UWI Auditorium, the Belize Police Department recognized the achievement of the teenagers who have been participating in the program for the past few months.  While a majority of the graduates will now be entering the workforce, several of them will be returning to secondary school in the upcoming academic year.  The project is the collaborative effort of the Department of Youth Services, along with the Ministry of Education and the Police Department.  Speaking at the graduation were Jewel Crawford of DYS and Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Herman Longsworth.

 

Jewel Crawford, Department of Youth Services

Jewel Crawford

“Often times we are guilty of having misconceptions of the reasons why young people may display antisocial behavior or may not conform to the norms that we perceive to be acceptable.  Notwithstanding that, we also too share the responsibility in creating an enabling environment that diminishes barriers and labeling of our young men but promotes inclusion, respect, love, acceptance and purpose.  SYSP provided a safe space for our young men and other students within our communities to actively learn and engage in youth-friendly programs built on the principles of education, active learning and respect, pillars that the Department of Youth Services and, by extension, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports promote.”

 

Herman Longsworth

Herman Longsworth, Minister of State, Education, Youth & Sports

“The Southside Youth Success Program is the epitome of an effective intervention program.  Outcomes for youth are hugely determined by the actions or inactions of family or society.  Today I am proud to confirm that the Southside Youth Success Program has successfully merged all the correct entities which has resulted in the positive maturation of these young men graduating from the program.  Encouraging and rewarding behavior is one of the key principles which makes up the foundation of this program.  A year or so ago when I last visited the center, I asked you young men and those who were present at the time to be responsible to and for each other and to be successful to this program and I am glad to see you guys before me today, I really am, believe me.”

 

The students enrolled in the program one year ago and so far there have been two cohorts that have completed the SYSP initiative.

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