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Jan 22, 2018

Another Year to ‘Du Di Rait Ting’

When you do the right thing, it pays off. Just ask Johana Ramos – the fourteen-year-old student of Maud Williams High School was recognized today with an award for her commitment to the Police Department’s ‘Du Di Rait Ting’ program. The award is for October 2017 but the first former is not slowing down with the good work at her school in the New Year. Andrea Polanco tells us how Ramos is making a difference and championing the work of community policing officers.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

This is fourteen-year-old student Johana Ramos. She is a first form honor student at Maud Williams High School and also a Police Cadet for two years with corporal rank. Today she received the “Du Di Rait Ting” Award for the month of October for Precinct One. One of the right things she does is being a leader in school.

 

Johana Ramos

Johana Ramos, Award Recipient, Du Di Rait Ting

“When I see someone bullying another person, I stop bullying. I help when they need me.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What are some of the other things that you encourage them to do or not do?”

 

Johana Ramos

“I always encourage them to stay in school because education is everything that you need; as they say the root of education is bitter but the fruit is sweet.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Are you seeing a change on campus? Are kids changing with the message that you are sharing with them?”

 

Johana Ramos

“Yes, ma’am, because one of my classmates used to behave [like to] bully others and now she is has now stopped bullying.”

 

Maud Williams High School says that when students “Du Di Rait Ting” it helps them to avoid bad influences and gives them something to aspire to– which has proven particularly effective for at risk students.

 

Roberto Bautista

Roberto Bautista, Teacher, Maud Williams High School

“A student like Johana is simply a manifestation that you could come from a circumstance where you have a lot of naysayers; a lot of under privileged situation; at risk and generally you could still embrace the law and do what is right and become a role model for next generation to come.  What it does is that it creates an aura of hope for the students; these are all at risk students in the essence that these students are exposed to so many harsh realities that we could only imagine or people will only write about. When something like this happens, in light of the media or the foreign media bringing Belize in negative  light, all these derogatory terms about us being this and that and seeing that Belize is a country that falls under certain statistics when it comes to crime, she brings the element of hope and positive that we can do good.”

 

Other students have been doing the right thing at this south side high school campus. Fourth-former Neville Somerville says he has a dream to become an accountant– and while it has been a challenge to stay the course, he has managed to keep his eyes on the prize.

 

Neville Somerville

Neville Somerville, Student

“See where I come from, people tell me how I can’t mek it but I show them that; my slogan to them dah prove them wrong and I know I have the ability to be what I want to be.  Me, myself, I stay away from all bad things. Sometimes you do bad, but sometimes when I done overcome it, I ask God for forgiveness when they ask me fi go on streets and do bad things, I just put that aside; stay home, ready my books and study music.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“On campus, weh ih mean fi do the rait ting pahn campus?”

 

Neville Somerville

“Well, I follow the rules. Follow the abilities and advantage weh deh out deh fi me and things and try.”

 

And when students like Johanna ‘Du Di Rait Ting’ on campus helps other students and their communities. And this is good for community policing officers – because it not only helps to keep down the number of crimes committed by juveniles but also improves the quality of life.

 

Wilfredo Petillo

Cpl. Wilfredo Petillo, Officer in Charge of Community Policing, Precinct 1

“On a regular basis we encounter dealing with children. We always, first thing, morning affirmation, positive message and the first thing ‘good morning’ – regardless if they are student, build that relationship of having manners and if they are doing something out of the way, remember community policing – we are proactive policing – we don’t believe in that arrest and charge our juveniles, we try to work with them.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“When students like Johanna do the right thing on campus, in school, how does that help the work of the community police officers?”

 

Cpl. Wilfredo Petillo

“Well, it makes our life easier because then they continue to sell community policing or community oriented work that we are doing because other students look up to them as role models, as prefix, and they want an opportunity to shine like them.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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