Police Youth Club building Lionel Town
A group of youth from Lionel Town in Vere, Clarendon, is making an impact through charity, advocacy and intervention.
Shyayne Reid, president of the Lionel Town Police Youth Club, told THE STAR that her team takes its mission of community development seriously.
"The mandate of our club is, build a better community for our young people by advocating for them and steering them towards reaching their goals. Our aim is to have at least two young persons in every household passing five or more [Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate] subjects. We help with resume writing, and we help with self-discipline," she added.
Noting the high number of high-school dropouts in Lionel Town, Reid said, "In our community, it is the norm for young persons to stop going to school at age 15 or 16, especially males. Our aim is to break that cycle; even though we don't have much monetary resources to help everyone, we try our best to help as many persons [as possible] within the community," she said.
According to Donique Moulton, general secretary, the club works assiduously to offer support for teen moms. "Teenage pregnancy is one of the main issues, so we are trying to ensure that teen mothers get as much help, while encouraging them to continue their education."
The club offers teen mothers an opportunity to further their education through HEART Trust/ NSTA and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examination classes free of charge.
Job sourcing is another area on which the club is focused. Vice-President Michaela McDonald says it is one area she is most passionate about. Similarly, entertainment coordinator Kahleel Bryan lauded his team, asserting that they have made a difference during the pandemic.
"In Lionel Town, we are not lucky like most communities that have persons doing things for them, so we tend to have a lot of people wanting help. The club has made a big difference, especially in a time like this with the COVID-19 pandemic. We ensure to put a hand sanitiser or a bottle of alcohol in some care packages. We are really trying to build a better Jamaica," he said.
Raymon Thompson, who serves as the club's sports coordinator, believes the team's venture is helping to shape the future for the community.
"We can make a change by impacting the youths in the community, and also build a foundation that will guide the younger generation so that they may grow with a healthy and positive mindset," he said.
The club's last outreach project, held in August, saw 70 persons benefiting from groceries and school supplies.