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Jul 9, 2014

39 students honoured at National Ceremony of Du Di Rait Ting

Do Di Right Thing has become one of the most successful programs by the police department; it recognizes exemplary and outstanding youths who have beaten the odds despite adversity. This morning thirty nine youths were honored; the top spot was taken by an eighteen year old young lady from the Cayo District whose story inspired everyone. Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The ninth annual award ceremony for the Du Di Rait Thing Program was held today at the Old Belize today. A total of thirty-nine youths from across the country were honored today by the police department. The program which was instituted by former Commissioner of Police, Gerald Westby, is being done in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the business community.

 

Insp. Dehanne Augustine, Acting Commander, Community Policing Unit

Dehanne Augustine

“Out of those thirty nine, we recognize ten top winners and these ten top winners were selected by the national selection board which is chaired by the Commander of Community Policing. It was a very difficult task because most of these children they have personal challenges in their lives. So we really need to big up these young people for trying to make a change. As you could hear the first winner, her challenge was in-home. And some of these young people challenges are on the street. So imagine having your challenge within your home and what you have to deal with every day. So I really need to big up these thirty-nine winners and the sponsors.”

 

Taking top spot was eighteen year old Keylin Jimenez of Santa Elena. She has been a survivor of physical and mental abuse…she even lost her mother in February of this year. But despite all that she persevered and is a role model to all her peers.

 

Keylin Jimenez

Keylin Jimenez, 1st Place, Do the Right Thing 2014

“My mom, she was an alcoholic person who would physically and mentally abuse me. I would be left home alone by my mom while she would go out and drink. I had to be an independent person in my childhood stage since my mother would always be absent. I thought myself to have moral values. As I grew, there were many obstacles that would stop me from going forward, but I always pray asking god to help me. There were many walls that appeared, but I continue and now I am here in front of you all. The last time I was with my mother, I was fourteen years old. I remember her getting really intoxicated. She began beating me until I passed out. I woke up in the hospital where a nurse told me it was a miracle I was not dead. Due to this incident, the Social Human workers removed me from my mom’s care because they determined that I was in danger. I was placed under another family care. On January twenty-first 2014 when I turned eighteen, I started to have a communication with my mom again. So from January to February first, 2014, I spoke to my mom through the phone. We were starting our relationship again as mother and daughter. One day when I called her, I forgave her for what she had done to me. She was really happy to hear that from me. On Wednesday, February fifth, 2014 when I was at school, I was informed my mother was killed on Sunday, February second 2014.”

 

Crooked Tree resident and Edward P. Yorke student, Zipporah Taylor took second place. She spoke of being true to giving back to your community no matter the struggles. .

 

Zipporah Taylor

Zipporah Taylor, 2nd Place, Do the Right Thing 2014

“I encourage youths to continue press on even though it may be difficult there is always a way. And to apply for DU Di Rait Ting because it gives you the opportunity, it gives you the hope that something big will come in your future. And I will just like to tell the youths that do the right thing even when people are not looking.”

 

Duane Moody

“I think the biggest thing when it comes to where you come from is the fact that year in, you guys are affected by flooding, etc. so tell us about that, persevering through all of that.”

 

Zipporah Taylor

“You are right, we did went through a lot of struggling even with the boat accident that happened at Crooked Tree. Sometimes we have to get up at three-thirty in the morning, go on the boat, then catch the bus…then go to school. Sometime we reach all up to eight o’clock at night and you have to do so many homework. But I surpassed all of those struggles and pressed on because I want a bright future.”

 

Third place was given to Eden SDA High School Graduate Eric De Leon. Top three performers took home laptops and scholarships to further their education.  Duane Moody for News Five.

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