The opportunity to gaze on the horizon and watch one’s dreams and aspirations begin to blossom is sometimes all the motivation one needs. At least that must have been how the recent thirteen young graduates of the 2015 Youth Achieving Results (YAR) Programme felt as they proudly collected their certificates of completion.
The evening’s celebrations for the graduates took the form of a showcase under the theme ‘I’ll Figure it Out,’ with the majority of the content being originally composed by the students.
This year’s YAR Programme included a comprehensive curricula that incorporated academics, the arts and personal development. These intensive training sessions were open to individuals 17-30 years of age and lasted for a nine-month period.
YAR tutors are professionally trained in the specific arts disciplines, and as instructors, they have also often found themselves taking on additional roles as counsellors in difficult situations.
The programme provides a safe haven for the participants, allowing them to escape to a place where there is hope and where they can feel appreciated. This family atmosphere acts as a filter to eliminate any negativity lurking in their minds and lives, and illuminates the positives for a better tomorrow.
Although one of the major objectives of YAR is to focus on the nurturing aspect of the arts, the curriculum also teaches these students how to set personal goals, identify and strengthen their weaknesses, build self-confidence and persevere in challenging times.
YAR has been around for over 14 years and is a collaboration between the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) and the Youth Division of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth. It is provided free of cost and offers at risk youth the opportunity to develop and improve their skills in the performing arts, giving them a jumpstart on pursuing their dreams. Through the exposure generated and a growing network of friends, this programme potentially opens up job opportunities for its participants.
Some of the well-known YAR successes include singers like Sanctuary who took third place in last year’s Sweet Soca competition with his Mega Monday and who is set to perform in the 2015 Party Monarch semi-finals on Friday night; Lisa Griffith and Peach who are both members of the Hygraid Band; and Rochelle Griffith, a former member of the group NexCyx and the current lead singer of Classic Silhouettes.
One of the primary goals of the YAR community is to one day open its own performing arts company operated by its past members.
Submitted by BCC, Corporate Communications Intern – Shannon Gooding