Tobago: With the successful completion of the flagship C.L.A.S.S. Programme, Tobago is now set to benefit from a fresh crop of empowered, capable young women. C.L.A.S.S., (Culturing Ladies to Achieve Sophistication and Success), is an initiative of the Department of Youth Affairs and was designed to positively impact the lives of young ladies and girls at the Bethel Youth Development Centre.
The eight week programme concluded with a grand graduation ceremony on Saturday 12 November 2022, during which 16 participants received certificates and special awards at the Conference Hall of the Division of Community Development, Youth Development and Sport.
One excited participant; Julice Gardiner, highlighted her experience, noting that it has changed her outlook on life. She explained, “I enjoyed this programme very much, especially the parts about self esteem, self care, dining, etiquette and ballroom dancing. I learned a lot about good posture and the importance of choosing the right bra. I’m looking forward to future programmes coming out of the Bethel Youth Development Centre.” Similarly Aiko McMillan, another participant, said, “I learnt many things which I have added to my day to day life, such as how to walk and carry myself properly and how to effectively speak to others. I had such a lovely time.
I really enjoyed myself.” She went on to thank all the programme’s organizers and facilitators for their role in executing the initiative.
During the ceremony, the graduands had the opportunity to display the full scope of what they learned in the areas of personal development, image, etiquette, confidence, social skills and more.
Youth Auxiliary Officer; LaVerne Simon who proposed and spearheaded the programme after engaging with stakeholders in Bethel and its environs gave an overview of C.L.A.S.S. She noted that as members of an at-risk community, youth in the area are prime candidates for meaningful intervention. Simon expressed her satisfaction with the participants stating, “Give yourselves a round of applause. These 16 young ladies stuck to the weeks of self-development training. Be proud of yourselves.
You did extremely well in making this decision to strive for the best version of yourself. This is the first of such a programme for us, but it won’t be the last.” She went on to thank the Association of Female Executives of Trinidad and Tobago (A.F.E.T.T.) and Untld 93 Hair Store for sponsoring clothing, shoes and accessories to enhance the graduates’ special evening.
In addressing the audience, Administrator; Earland Kent offered words of encouragement and reiterated the full commitment of the Division to supporting the growth and development of young persons well into the future. He emphasized, “At this time I would like to express openly the commitment of the Division of Community Development, Youth Development and Sport to you young ladies and by extension, all the young people in Tobago. We remain committed to your development.
We will continue to work with you through formal and community organizations, as well as sporting organizations, and we are prepared to meet you wherever you are. We can work together, hand in hand, to create a Tobago that would be envied across the world.”