Ninety students have enrolled in the Save Our Youth Club, which, under the auspices of the Save Our Youth Foundation, seeks to provide youth in Cayman with a more stable future.
During the ceremony at John Gray High School on Friday, student members received their membership certificates and pins from Education Minister Tara Rivers and school principal Lyneth Monteith.
“The SOY Club has proved its worth, and it is really another avenue for students to hone their skills in making good decisions. It is a club for the students run by the students,” said Ms. Monteith.
SOY President Iris Stoner explained that the idea behind the club is to empower students and give them a voice.
“The students can come together to discuss issues that are important to them such as bullying, peer pressure, violence and try to come up with solutions to the various problems,” she said.
“They can take these suggestions as a unified voice to the school administrators.
“It is all about giving these young people an opportunity to be heard and to help effect positive changes. In addition, part of their mandate is initiating community service projects so they learn they can make a difference outside of school as well,” she said.
“This is the second year for the club and it is very encouraging that more students have signed up, and this shows that young people want to be involved and take more responsibility for what goes on in the school,” she added.
Latrese Haylock, the SOY Club’s new volunteer programs director, spoke on the benefits to students in joining the club.
“The organization is fostering these students’ ideas and giving them a say in decision-making because these days the youths are not given the opportunity to make very important decision in their lives… but are mostly told what to do, say, and how to act, and these are very important decisions that kids want to make,” said Ms. Haylock.
She explained that having organizations like the Soy Foundation and like-minded organizations that help create awareness and help students make choices is a great advantage in the wake of peer pressure and other obstacles that youth face daily.
The SOY Foundation also seeks to spotlight deserving youths who, while hard-working, well-behaved and earnest, are not always named on school honor rolls or for top athletic achievements.