(BROOKLYN, New York – Two Vincentians – Franz George and Aria Laidlow, now
serve on the prestigious Commonwealth Youth Council for the period 2018 to 2020.

The Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) is the official voice of the young people
across all Commonwealth nations. The council’s aim is to further advance the youth
development agenda by integrating young people into the development work of the
Commonwealth at national, regional, and Pan-Commonwealth levels. It also provides a
sustainable platform for unified engagement with decision makers and youth-led
development initiatives.

Franz and Aria both join the council highly qualified for their respective positions, and
will serve on the Caribbean and Americas Regional Committee of the CYC.

Franz was elected to the CYC executive as the Caribbean and Americas Region
Representative in April of 2018. As the Caribbean and Americas Region Representative
he will work to ensure that the voice of the region’s young people is heard. He will also
lead the Caribbean and Americas Region Committee who will help him fulfill his
mandate. The committee will also be led in the development and execution of several
projects. For his tenure, he will be focusing

on the organisational transformation of the CYC in the Caribbean and Americas Region
and connecting the CYC with the grassroots.

Franz brings a wealth of experience in youth leadership. While at the University of the
West Indies he served on the student guild for two years. During those two years, he
propelled his advocacy to a regional level as he was also part of the Inter Campus Guild
Council (ICGC). He also worked with the National Integrity Action (NIA), an
anti-corruption NGO and member organisation of Transparency International in
Jamaica. While at NIA Franz co-founded the Integrity Action Movement (IAM), the NIA’s
youth arm.

Professionally, Franz has served as a researcher, educator and business consultant.
He holds a Bachelors of Science in Psychology (with management) and a Masters of
Arts in Teaching (with emphasis in Adult Education and Training).

Aria was selected to serve on the Caribbean and Americas Regional Committee in
November 2018. Out of hundreds of applicants, she was chosen for the position of
Director of Programme Development, and will lead the development of all CYC
programmes, especially those related to Climate Change and National Youth Councils.
Aria is passionate about youth empowerment and climate change in the Caribbean.

Aria brings over eight years of experience to the CYC, as she was involved in political
youth advocacy in SVG. She was also an instrumental member of the Bequia
Innovators Toastmasters Club where she held the position of VP of Education. Aria’s
passion to empower young Vincentians also extend into one of her most recent project’s
– Youth Opportunities SVG (YOSVG). YOSVG currently acts as a platform that
provides local, regional and international opportunities for young Vincentians.

Aria holds a Master of Science in Environmental Change and Management from the
University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Science in Geography and Environmental
Natural Resource Management from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.
Franz and Aria will work alongside nine other young professionals from the region on
the Caribbean and Americas Regional Committee of the CYC.
The Commonwealth Youth Council will be undertaking an aggressive brand and project
awareness campaign, to ensure all young people across the region are aware of the
organization’s initiatives.