Our mission

Our Mission:

Spread our message of hope and unity in a culturally diverse community by developing initiatives and creating programmes that revive the values of old, placing the importance of people above economic concerns.

Why Speaking To Our Youth Is Important

A MESSAGE from Elroy Bryan, 2009 YCLA recipient on what he saw during his year speaking to youth

imageI agree that our young people are falling short on personal attributes every day. But I think the problem lies with the family. When we go in and speak to the young people in the Primary Schools it is so amazing how receptive they are towards the message. What changes so much in those same young people as they move throughout our school system? We know that with maturity comes great responsibility. But as they mature, the pressures of making good choices in this world increases as the devil does all that is possible to cloud their judgment. Parents need to lay a strong foundation and to “train their children up in the way they should go so that when they are old they will depart from it,” as God’s word advises us. During a young person’s teen years, they need their parent’s guidance more than ever and I fear that this is not always the case.

Our young people are told every day the type of people that they should be. The Profile of the Educated Caymanian states that our young people will “be well rounded, good at finding solutions to problems, flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances and demands”.  “They will have a positive outlook and high self-esteem”.  Strong statements but, I think it helps to see the Educated Caymanian rather than just hear about them. We all have a role to play in this, but parents must be consistent with their young people and take the lead in fostering growth in their young people. Stop leaving the necessary attributes that their young people need to see and hear to be fostered and reinforced by teachers and interested persons in the community. 

Then, to add to the challenges, when parents are approached about the lack of growth by way of attributes or character on the part of their children they can sometimes take the constructive criticism the wrong way and lash out at the concerned persons.  Collin commented in his acceptance speech that “it takes a village to raise a child” and I think our community has moved so far from this principle which made us a strong nation. In Gods word it says that any house or kingdom divided against itself can not stand. As parents we need to work together with the teachers and as a government we need to always lead by example with God’s will first. Then our young people can learn the important attributes of teamwork, leadership, and Godliness.

Collin Anglin on his experience speaking to the schools:

Children must always see the big picture, the world does not revolve around us but we have a part to play in this world. Teach them that we are accountable to God and to our fellow man/woman/human beings.  

The importance of family support in the success of an individual – generally, the better the family support the higher the likelihood for success of an individual become a positive, productive citizen.

Carrying your family name on your shoulders – each child has to be reminded as early as possible and frequently that what they do reflects on their parents and their family;  therefore do things that are worthy of praise and bring honor to your family name.

Parents and family being responsible for closely monitoring their children’s company and intervening when their children’s friends are very likely to have negative influences on them.  We can be more proactive as parents and families in choosing environments to keep our children in and more so, being there in that environment with them as much as possible.

Parents understanding that we are the number 1 influence on our children and that we need to observe and control our behavior as much as possible.  That we as parents also need to do things that are worthy of praise and set standards that our children will want to emulate because of the positive reactions we receive from the community. Parents must be a good example.

Allowing the village to raise the child again – getting to know our neighbors and allowing them to help watch out for our kids when they are not in our presence.  If children know that they are accountable for their actions at all times and that people are watching and reporting to their parents they will be more careful to conduct themselves in a way that society feels they should.
Families must support children I their dreams, no matter how impossible they seem, because the truth is – nothing is impossible to those that believe. Don’t crush a child’s dream – their dream is what they want to live for; help steer them in their dream so that they will become good citizens while achieving their dreams as well.

Children react to speeches by YCLA alumni

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“It was so inspiring to me.  The best thing that they said to me was ‘dream big’.
 It kind of just hit me when they said that.  It told me that if I want to succeed in life I have to get a good foundation to start building up as I go on.”
- Lucianna Regidor (grade 8)

“I’m going to work harder to reach my dreams and
I’m inspired to take school more seriously.”
- Jadine Swanson (grade 11)

“I want to be a lawyer. I want to go to a good university. I want to be a model.
 I want to help people.  I feel so inspired.  I want to get good grades.
 I want to go to math camp.  I want to be a better person.  I will dream.”
- Julia Forth (grade 6)

“I thought about how my future is changed by the choices that I make. 
The choices I make will continue to build my foundation for life. 
You choose your own destiny.”
- Blane Givens (grade 9)

“It was a very motivating speech and I learned that I can do
ANYTHING as long as I put my mind to it.”
- Kelsey Bodden (grade 7)

“I want to be able to make something of myself and graduate college. 
If you try hard enough you can get where you want to be.”
- Monique Rowe (grade 10)