John Gray convening SOY Club meeting

Students at John Gray High School will convene their first Save Our Youth Club meeting Friday morning, seeking to give them a greater voice in school administration and problem solving.

Approximately 60 students enrolled in the SOY Club at its Oct. 18 launch, the first of several that SOY Foundation President Iris Stoner hopes to see in the future.

“The goal of this club is to empower students,” Ms Stoner said. “Simply put, they are being given the responsibility to set up and organize the club to enable students to discuss and address issues that are important to them, such as bullying, and, as a unified voice, bring suggested solutions to the school.”

The club is an outgrowth of the larger foundation, started in 2005 as part of efforts to reach out to Cayman youth, encouraging them to make positive choices in their lives.

Ms Stoner hopes to see similar clubs in other schools, and has already addressed students at Cayman Brac’s Layman E. Scott High School.

“We hope to enable other SOY Clubs at other schools,” she said, viewing John Gray as a first step. ”They will discuss issues that are important to them, things like bullying, drug use, other areas that concern them.

They will propose solutions, talk with school administrators and demonstrate they can make a difference in their schools and communities.”

John Gray Principal Lyneth Monteith welcomed the development, saying it is an opportunity for students to have their voices heard, developing solutions to the issues they face.

“It’s a club run by students for students and is at the heart of what the school is about,” she said.

“We will help run it, but it’s an opportunity to decide issues from the students’ perspective and capabilities, looking for ways to get their voices heard.”

“Both JGHS and Save Our Youth Foundation will be available to advise and guide as needed or requested,” Ms Stoner said, “but the students know they are the driving force behind the club.”

“In addition, we hope that they will identify needs in the community and initiate fundraising and service projects to help others,” she said.

“We are proud to have created this initiative and, as with all SOY projects, emphasize that the overriding theme is for our young people to make positive choices. I hope joining the SOY Club will be the first of many for them.”