St Kitts’ Youth Empowerment through Skills (YES) Project has given more than 1,000 young people a second chance to undo past mistakes and learn skills that will position them to lead productive lives and contribute to national development.

This was the overriding sentiment expressed to SKNIS who spoke to some participants enrolled in the hospitality division. Members from Conaree, St. Peter?s and Lodge joined colleagues from St. Paul?s at their community center last Friday, for a luncheon meant to showcase their skills and promote camaraderie.

?I want to thank the Prime Minister. [This] a good thing,? Kerissa Hamilton, 17, said. ?I want to thank him very much for bringing the youth off the road and helping [us] get through in life.?

Delroy Alford, 28, seconded the thought and stated ?after finishing the programme, I ? [will be certified] to go out in the work field and achieve. I would like to thank the government, the instructors and everyone who brought this together.?

Meanwhile, 18-year-old Vashney Jules indicated that she choose to pursue a career as a waitress because of the opportunity to interact with a large number of people from diverse backgrounds.

The SKN leader joined the 120 hospitality students at the luncheon to show support; – ?Every single one of them must be given a second chance, and if necessary a third chance. None of them must be written off,? stressed Dr Denzil Douglas. ?I believe in every single one of them. I believe that innately there is something there that if giving the right environment and opportunities it will come out to the surface and it will help, not only in their own personal advancement as individuals, but also would help in the overall development of our communities.?

The Prime Minister added that reports from administrators reveal that the project is having a meaningful impact on the 16 to 35 year old participants. He stressed that he was proud to give the Y.E.S. participants other avenues for advancement.

?St. Kitts and Nevis is a blessed country,? he opined. ?I spoke earlier of the natural beauty of our country and the history, but what is so blessed about it really, are its people, the human resource.?

?? I believe that if we can harness the human resource and we can direct that human resource in a way that they are part of what is happening in this country, St. Kitts and Nevis really and truly will be the paradise that we speak of it as today.?

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