Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Lanisha Rolle commended the founder, leaders and coordinators of the Bahamas Youth Leadership Development (BYLD) Programme, saying, on January 25, 2020, that it is “a positive initiative, surrounded by positive people and thus bound to have achieved, and is poised to continue achieving, good and positive results.” “The mandate of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, in particular, the Division of Youth, is to facilitate the development of our youth through effective programs, initiatives and organizations designed to aid their personal growth, advance their social development and empower them with the tools and opportunities to realize their dreams while making our national goals a reality,” Minister Rolle said, during the BYLD Programme Opening Ceremony, held at the Colina Insurance J. Whitney Training Centre, Collins Avenue.
“The youth of today are builders of our nation’s tomorrow, and these kinds of programs are essential to our ensuring our young people receive the knowledge, skills, and know-how to build a country that we can be proud of, and one that is able to sustain future generations,” she added. “The BYLD Programme trains our youth in the ways of leadership, decision making, problem-solving and financial skills. “These are essential tools to not only building their lives and young people, but the lives of others, to build strong communities, and an even stronger nation. And, so, for the work and vision of BYLD Programme, and for its partnership in the work of the Ministry and the Division of Youth, the Government of the Bahamas wishes to say, thank you.”
Among those present at the Opening Ceremony were Head of the Division of Youth Sandena Neely; BYLD Programme Founder Zhivargo Laing; programme executives and coordinators; and parents and other stakeholders. Minister Rolle related anecdotes about her own experiences to the young people at the ceremony. She said that, at the age of 17, she graduated from the then S. C. McPherson Secondary High School. She noted that she did not know much; but, at that time, she knew that she wanted to be an attorney. “Having served as a police cadet of the Royal Bahamas Police Force for two years preceding my high school graduation, I obtained exposure to basic Government operations and functions and, so, I knew enough to determine the need to make my contributions to national service through the public service.”
“Around that same time of decision making, I was fortunate enough to have an audience with the then Former Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Sir Lynden Pindling,” she continued. “During our discourse, he asked, ‘What do you want to do?’. I said, ‘I want to be an attorney and I want to be a part of Government. He said, ‘Go and build your curriculum vitae (CV) and come back.’ “I left his office thinking, well that response was vague, or as wide as it is long, ‘go and build’ my ‘CV and come back. Well, I enlisted as a member of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, simultaneously pursued my college and university studies, and today, after years of building, I’m back. And it is my pleasure and privilege to serve not only as an attorney, but as the Member of Parliament for the Seabreeze constituency, and as the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture.
“I did not fully comprehend Mr. Pindling’s advice at the time; but, meanwhile, I connected myself with positive initiatives and positive individuals,” Minister Rolle said. “And now, years later, at age 43, I believe I can begin to decipher his good advice which I now commend for the benefit of youth today: Go and Build; Develop Your CV; Come Back.” To the young people present, Minister Rolle said that that day’s ceremony was momentous, as it marked the day, the place and the time they were commissioned by the BYLD Programme and endorsed by the Government of The Bahamas to “go and build; develop your cv, and come back.” She also shared more on each aspect on the advice she received.
“Young people, ‘building’ is a process,” she said. “According to Webster, it involves assembling into a structure. This means that, as you build, you must know what structure you are building and what are you trying to achieve: How do you want the structure to look; what purpose you want the structure to serve; and you must know where you want to build.” She said that, in other words, they must begin to determine what career they wished to pursue, what tools or materials it will take for them to achieve that career goal; and where they wish to serve in that career. “As an attorney, I can serve in multiple fields; so can plumbers, agriculturalists, and any profession, etc.” she pointed out. “Even the domestic engineer or house cleaner can decide whether they want to clean in a private home or at the Atlantis Resorts and Hotel.
“Indeed, in this era of a global community, opportunities are endless and, in fact, you can decide whether you want to work at home here in The Bahamas, or spend time gaining experience abroad. You are the builder, and the opportunities for where and how you can use your talent, gifts or skills are limitless; but you cannot take advantage of the many opportunities unless you build.” Secondly, Minister Rolle spoke to developing their curriculum vitae. She said: “Your curriculum vitae or CV is a summary or outline of a person’s educational and professional history. The key here is that a CV is a bit more than a resume. it is a summary of an individual’s educational and professional history. So this means, you must have been engaged for a time in working or offering service, and matriculating in professional studies.”
Minister Rolle related that, while working as a police officer, she pursued a Bachelors in Administration and Management, a Masters in Human Resources, and later a law degree. “Young people, building a good CV entails developing a record of academic and experiential qualifications,” she added. Minister Rolle said that the third and final instructive advice to her at age 17 was to “come back” and she said “believe it or not, this is where faith comes in.” “You have to believe that if you build a strong building, it will be able to shield you, protect you and secure you,” she said. “The Good Book records in Ecclesiastes 9:11, ‘… but time and chance happeneth to them all’.”
Minister Rolle told the young people that, if they prepare yourself by being a part of positive initiatives, and positive people and doing positive things; and if they build for themselves the knowledge and skills that are needed to advance industries and people, their time must come. “But you must position yourself, to come back,” she said. “Connecting yourself with positive people, doing positive things, being active in positive environments, is how you position yourself to come back — and not be empty handed. “I hasten to add, however, that each of your ‘come back’ is likely to be different.”
She noted that every individual has their own journey. “While one will pursue medicine, the other engineering, another pastoring and another teaching, another counseling; but opportunity and chance happens to all,” she said. Minister Roller quoted Franklin D. Roosevelt who said, “the only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.” “If you build on a strong foundation, and develop your CV, I submit that there is no limit to your ‘come-back’,” she said. “Indeed, when your tomorrow comes, as it will, you may perhaps find that life, leadership and legacy are determined by your building, and building a strong foundation,” she added. “I trust that each of embrace the opportunities offered by this program to assist you in your foundation building process.”
“And to the Bahamas Youth Leaders Certification Programme team, its leaders, facilitators and coordinators, you are an integral element of that strong foundation; the youth and our nation are depending on you not only to keep the program going, but to keep it growing,” Minister Rolle said. “I commend to your hearing the encouraging words of one Jim Rohn who speaks to the intangibles when he said, ‘whatever good things we build, end up building us’. “Thank you for this invitation, and I wish your program and each participant every success.”