Positive youth work

It’s not often youth are acknowledged for good works in the community.

One group is a shining example of how bright Cayman’s future can be.

Last week marked the three-year anniversary of the Rotaract Club of Grand Cayman.

Rotaract Week saw a number of community events to honour the club. The most recent of which was a tree-planting project Friday at John A Cumber Primary School.

The week came to a close Saturday night with a Charter Night Celebration function. The event took place at Harbour Place on the waterfront.

Among the notable attendees scheduled to come out were local singer KK Alese and 2009 Young Caymanian Leadership Award winner Elroy Bryan.

The Rotaract Club of Grand Cayman is a community-based service club sponsored by the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman Sunrise. The club targets young people ages 18 to 31 and allows young adults to grow in professional and personal knowledge, in their level of community involvement and in their understanding of true peace and fellowship.

Weekly one-hour meetings are held at Icoa Fine Foods in the Seven Mile Shops on Thursday mornings at 7am. From there, the club hosts fellowship events and conducts social projects such as beach clean-ups and helping with [email protected], Meals on Wheels and the Humane Society Run/Walk.

All of the efforts made by the 32-member Rotaract Club begin at the local grassroots level and the club has access to many of the resources of Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation.

Since being chartered on 15 December 2006 the club has made great strides in Cayman and the Caribbean. Among its accolades was winning club of the year in 2007 and 2008.

The group has had a presence on Grand Cayman in the past. A number of notable community figures have been involved over the years including current Minister for Youth and Sports Alden McLaughlin.

The current version has been kept strong by a core of young people and three young ladies have seen the group through in Martha Connolly, Georgi-Ann Jackman and Danielle Japal.

Connolly got involved in the club in Fall 2006. She has progressed from being a member to its current Director of Club Service.

Connolly felt Rotaract Week gave her a sense of achievement.

‘The fact that we’ve gone three years strong makes me feel good and well-accomplished. It’s really something seeing us start out as four people meeting up to 32 people joining together.’

Jackman is the current Fundraising Chairperson and is the incoming Secretary for 2010. Her stature in the group has grown rapidly since her June 2008 introduction.

For Jackman, the group is a way to connect with her peers while giving back to the community.

‘We’re all about working hard to impact Cayman together while having a lot of fun. For me it’s important to have a group of young people who want to play an active role in Cayman’s future.’

Japal was involved from July 2007. She has been a tireless worker in the group and has progressed up the ladder from Secretary in July 2007 to Vice President in July 2008. She is slated to become Club President for 2010, moving up from her VP role.

Japal says her time and dedication to the club has shown her the power Cayman’s youth possess.

‘It’s amazing to see all of the things accomplished by a group of young people who have big dreams and high hopes. I feel a lot of pride over our achievements to this point.’

FYI

For more information e-mail [email protected] or log on to www.rotaractky.org

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