Around 80 young role models attended a two-day youth leadership conference last week.
The annual Cayman Against Substance Abuse youth leadership development conference opened 2 November and was coordinated by CASA’s Youth to Youth section.
Top government officials who attended included Governor Stuart Jack, Youth Minister Alden McLaughlin and Health Minister Anthony Eden.
Cayman Brac’s conference was opened by the Leader of Government Business, Kurt Tibbetts.
Encouraging, fair leadership based on a clear goal and on engagement with people at every level, Mr. Jack said, ‘Government is making great effort to make the Cayman Islands what it should be, but there are different leadership situations, from running the country, government, school, family and mentoring friends and classmates.’
He added, ‘We have a low crime rate, but we do see serious problems related to the abuse of drugs and alcohol. As far as I’m concerned, this is one of the most important challenges facing us.
‘It’s particularly important that you are included, and that you have a positive influence on people your own age. We can’t always do that, and your rewards will come later when you are dealing with your own lives, careers and families.’
The guest speakers praised the John Gray and Triple C students for their display of leadership ability.
Speaking of the effects of substance abuse on Cayman’s communities, Mr. McLaughlin said, ‘This is now our No. 1 national responsibility and a whole range of initiatives need to be employed to keep the Cayman Islands on track.
, ‘I commend your involvement, for faith without action is dead. Think deeply about your roles and how to influence young and old. The principles taught will keep you away from drugs, alcohol, violence and lifestyles that lead to destruction and death.
‘Go back into your communities and pass on what you learn to your peers.’
CASA’s Executive Director Linda McField thanked the students, school and conference participants and supporters for their dedication to improving the lives and futures of young people. She especially thanked government (the main supporter) as well as the corporate sponsors, whose gifts and contributions have contributed in many ways – from food and rental cars to airline tickets.
For more information on CASA or Youth to Youth, contact Mrs. Linda McField at 917-9672.