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Georgetown, Guyana – (July 17, 2016) First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, today, charged the 66 graduates at the Fourth Youth Leadership and Training Programme to use their newly acquired skills to become effective leaders in their homes, schools, workplaces and communities.

“I charge you to dream beyond that; to have the vision and develop the stamina that will take you to participation in local, regional and general elections as the honest, forthright leaders our country needs,” Mrs. Granger said in her address at the closing ceremony, which was held at the Madewini Training Centre on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway.

This latest group of graduates are employed young persons, who were selected to participate in the sessions aimed at teaching them practical leadership related skills.

“You were selected because someone recognised your leadership potential,” the First Lady said even as she reminded them that their participation in the training over two weekends is a demonstration of their commitment and desire to enhance themselves and serve their communities.

The training programme is a combination of theory and practice that was designed to fill in the gaps in training of youth across the country. These youth are taught leadership, management, event planning, communications, effective public speaking, meeting and meeting procedures and other ‘soft’ skills such as courtesy and deportment.

The First Lady encouraged the graduates to use what they learnt “to begin to function efficiently and effectively as a leader”.

Meanwhile, Presidential Advisor on Youth Empowerment, Mr. Aubrey Norton said he is always pleased to attend the closing ceremonies as he would have noted the participants’ measurable progress from start to finish.

He said that the programme “focuses on leadership by example… We seek to inculcate self-discipline and love for your country. We are urging the young people that are trained to seek to improve their own lives as well as the lives of other young people in the community”.

Youth from all but the Barima-Waini, Potaro-Siparuni and Upper Takutu-Upper Berbice regions participated in this latest training.

First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger is flanked by from L-R: Mr. Ronald Austin Jr, Training and Education Officer, Mr. Aubrey Norton, Presidential Advisor on Youth Empowerment and Ms. Anetta De Jesus, all of the Youth Empowerment unit of the Ministry of the Presidency and Mr. Leon Stewart, a graduate and chairperson of the fourth Youth Leadership Training Programme.

Special prizes were given to Mr. Wilton Hinds and Ms. Shareefah Parks who were named the male and female participant, respectively, who best exemplified leadership, and Mr. Akeem Hyndman and Ms. Tanya Hooper, who were named the male and female, respectively, who had the most outstanding personality. These awardees were all selected by their peers.

The graduates celebrated their success and charmed the audience with a mixed musical presentation that included a rendition of “I believe the children are our future” and “Lean on Me”.

Director of Youth, Ms. Melissa Carmichael, Deputy Director of Youth, Ms. Leslyn Boyce and Mr. Ronald Austin Jr, Training and Education Officer also attended the ceremony.

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