Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe encouraged the youth of Grand Bahama to tap into their gifts and potential in order to move into their “bold” future.
Minister Wilchcombe was the keynote speaker at a mini rally that preceded the annual Youth March on Sunday, October 23, 2022 at Martin Town Primary School. Hundreds of young people from various schools, churches, clubs and civic organizations gathered for the annual march in Eight Mile Rock, in celebration of Youth Month. The parade, which also included the Church of God of Prophecy Marching Band and the Legends Marching Band, started at Martin Town Primary School grounds and ended at St. Stephens Anglican Church.
Making reference to the theme for this year’s Youth Month – “Building a Bold Future” – The Social Services Minister told the young people that when they use the word bold, it means a lot and can sometimes have consequences. However, he encouraged them to use the word with authority and mean it when they say it.
“But it begins with you. Look at yourselves; look at what you have; believe in yourselves, that is the first thing. Believe that you can achieve anything you put your mind too,” added Minister Wilchcombe.
“Some of you may not achieve As in school or Bs; you may get Cs, but that’s okay, even while you’re pursuing the As and Bs. God gave each one of you a gift. You have to figure out what is your gift. You have to look inside yourself to find that gift. And when you find that gift, go after it boldly, conqueror it, master it, but don’t allow people to tell you that you cannot achieve something.
“I’m excited for all of you young people and the opportunities that are set before you. Be bold, determined and go after your dream. Remember to protect yourself. You must make a difference. Let us make our country a better place. Let everything you do guide you to our God.”
Offering some encouraging word to the young people gathered at the rally, Minister Wilchcombe advised them to avoid negative mindsets by paying close attention to the messages that they take in whenever they log into social media sites.
He advised them to not just accept the messages social media platforms are presenting to them, but rather to think about what it is they’re presenting. He then challenged young people to ask questions about the message that’s being presented before making major decisions.
“And when you make a decision, make a decision that would allow you to have a better future in this country and in the world,” said Minister Wilchcombe.
“Young people, I want you to look at yourselves and those around you, and appreciate how fortunate you are in this part of our country. There are thousands of young people in our country who don’t have the opportunities that you have. There are thousands of young people who go to bed every night without a meal.
There are many young people who are not in school for one reason or another. There are many young people who are sitting at home here in Grand Bahama, in Nassau or in some other island, because their parents have left them, have abused them, have rejected them and now we have responsibility for them.
“You must give your parents, teachers and those who serve as counsellors some gratitude. Consider that you can gather here today and go on a march, but there are places in the world where young people cannot do this. They cannot get together like this and have friendly rivalry among schools and youth groups. They would be penalized, marginalized and in some circumstances, they could lose their lives.”
Minister Wilchcombe thanked all of the youth workers in Grand Bahama for their commitment and dedication to serving the young people. He also thanked all of the organizers of the march and all of the activities thus far in celebration of Youth Month in The Bahamas.
By ANDREW COAKLEY/Bahamas Information Services
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