The Stubbs Police Youth Club has successfully launched a Male to Male Mentorship Programme to mentor the young boys who are members of the club.
The launching took place on Saturday 25 February 2023 at the Stubbs Gospel Hall under the theme – “A PART TO PLAY: REALIZING MY POTENTIAL.”
In attendance were, Hon. Frederick Stephenson, Parliamentary Representative for the constituency of South Windward, Superintendent of Police (SOP), Mr. Trevor Bailey, Divisional Commander of the South Central Division, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Mr. Junior Simmons, Officer-in-charge of Police Youth Clubs, Mrs. Gweneth Anthony, Youth Officer in the Youth Department of the Ministry of National Mobilization, National Coordinator of Police Youth Clubs, Sergeant Stephen Billy, the mentors and mentees and others.
The keynote address was delivered by Mr. Stanley Browne, General Manager of Sagicor, St. Vincent and Ms. Yolande London, Co-coordinator of the Stubbs PYC was the chairperson.
In his address, the keynote speaker warned the mentees about overusing social media. He used an analogy and told the mentees that a good friend of his bought a sheep for his son. “The son grazed the sheep for a day or two. But after the he learned about the game “Farmville” he stopped grazing the sheep and was glued to his device playing the game”.
Reminiscing on the days when he was just a boy, Mr. Browne said “we were not kept by social media. In those days, our parents called us into the house. Today, they run you out of the house because you are hooked on social media.”
He told the mentees that if they are to maximize their life, they must choose their friends wisely. He said that some parents are in the habit of saying that their child or children were led astray but that is not always the case. “If you want me to know who you really are, show me your five best friends. You are your best five friends”. He emphasized that the people who come together, share the same values and quite often, where they reach in life was determined by the people who surrounded them. “You have to be careful about the people who you allow in your private space. If you know a man is a thief, stay away from him
In encouraging the mentees Mr. Browne said “You can become anything that you want to be. If you can dream it, you can live it.” He went on to tell the mentees that in order for them to become what they want to be, they have to be alive because no one achieves anything if they are dead. Mr. Browne warned the mentees to stay away from trouble and gangs. He encouraged them to eat proper food so they can remain healthy. “It is important that you not only protect your body but your mind. Exercise and watch what you eat.”
Corporal Lovitha Boyea, District Coordinator of the Stubbs PYC gave the audience an overview of the project. She informed the audience that the mentorship programme was the first of its kind implemented by the Stubbs PYC and was the brainchild of the co-coordinator, Ms. Yolande London, who put the idea to the group and was accepted by all of the members. “The Stubbs Police Youth Clubs continue to grow in numbers. There are 65 registered members, 45 of them are active members and more than half are boys,” said Boyea.
During his brief remarks at the event, the Officer-in-charge of Police Youth Clubs, ASP Junior Simmons told the gathering that the main purpose of the police youth clubs is to assist in the wholesome development of the youths of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “The launching of the Male to Male Mentorship Programme in this sanctuary here today, is compelling evidence that the Police Youth Clubs are effectively fulfilling their mandate,” said ASP Simmons. ASP congratulated the leadership of the Stubbs Police Youth Club and Sgt. Billy for the tireless effort and energy they continue to put into the clubs for the benefit of the young people.
In addressing the mentees, Superintendent of Police, Mr. Trevor Bailey told them by becoming members of the Stubbs Police Youth Clubs was an excellent choice. He stated that in today’s society, more focus is seemingly placed on young girls and young ladies. “We don’t want the young ladies to be out of the house after 5 oçlock – while the boys are given a license to go wherever they want to go and do whatever they want to do,” said SOP Bailey. He continued “I am extremely happy to see the Stubbs Police Youth Club is focusing on our young boys,”
SOP Bailey expressed the view that young boys and young men must be taught the same discipline that is inculcated into young girls and young women. He hailed the programme as a step in the right direction.
Youth Officer in the Ministry of National Mobilization, Mrs. Gweneth Anthony said that from the moment she entered the building, her attention was drawn to the number of boys and men in the audience and that was very pleasing to her. She told the young mentees that they will benefit greatly from being a part of the progamme because the mentors are mature, talented, and responsible men who will impart those virtues to them.
Parliamentary Representative for the Constituency of South Windward, Hon. Frederick Stephenson also addressed the mentees and mentors. He told the mentees “you can be anything you want to be – as long you put your head, your hands, and your heart into it.” Touching on the issue of nation-building and development, Minister Stephenson emphasized that it is of critical importance that every child must have a level of comfort and care in the communities in which they live.
He said that it is regrettable that so many young boys and even some young females get themselves involved in criminal activities. “A few weeks ago, I was asking about the population at the prisons. I was told it was nearly 400 hundred – 12 females and the others were males, young males.” But today, I am not speaking gloom and doom because you have these mentors here today who will help you and counsel you into becoming good citizens in the community,” said Minister Stephenson.
Minister Stephenson commended the Stubbs Police Youth Club and the leadership of the Police Youth Clubs nationally on the tremendous work they have been doing. He said, in the past, there was a National Youth Council in every village but that is not the case today because people are motivated to do things if there is a reward in it.
The event was sponsored by Ever-ready Funeral Home, OSV, and Waldron Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Services.