It is a pleasure to be here this morning to address the individuals who will chart the future for our Territory. The 21st Century comes with many opportunities and an equal amount of challenges. The individuals who will positively impact the progress of our society are tasked with finding the correct balance in their lives.
A 21st Century individual can access information at the click of a button, contact friends and colleagues anywhere in the world at any time, instantly create a business without leaving the house, pay bills at anytime from anywhere, comment about events from anywhere through Twitter, and the list can go on and on. Knowing how to discipline ourselves to balance the innovations that merge our lives, studies, work and play is a very intriguing prospect.
Minister Walwyn wanted me to remind you, our students, that as a community, the Virgin Islands believes in the promise that your youth embodies for your lives, and also for the advancement of our Virgin Islands.
Through the Ministry of Education and Culture and all of its departments, we have placed our time, resources and efforts to ensure that each child under our charge through our school system, has every opportunity to live up to their full potential. With an improved education system dedicated to provide opportunities to ensure that your teachers are constantly being retrained and are able to teach all learning levels; programmes such as Emerging Fellows, Elite Athletes, Youth Employment Services and the launch of our Youth Policy, we are presenting every opportunity for you all to succeed.
Having gone through adolescence ourselves, we know that this time of your live presents many challenges that might inhibit some of you from actively seeking out the opportunities I’ve mentioned or simply being the best student that you can be.
That is why, young people, it is important for your long term success, to continue to develop healthy habits that will take you through adolescence, your first job, college life, and whatever representation of yourself you choose to have, to positively impact our community.
To set you up for success, it is my hope that you already understand the importance of one of the most significant habits, discipline. Discipline to me is the ability to do what you are supposed to do when you are supposed to do it without being told or monitored. Living a disciplined life will give you time and opportunities to develop yourselves to the highest level. I don’t think Beyoncé would be Beyoncé if she only sang a song or two each week. Would Kobe Bryant be Kobe Bryant if he decided to throw the ball around every now and again? From an early age, like so many other successful people, they developed the habit of discipline and also commitment to their task and craft so that they can reach the highest level.
On an everyday basis, I encourage all of you to also refine these important habits that will lead you to success:
- Being kind and considerate to your classmates, a random person on the street or someone who has not always been kind to you, will teach you how to be compassionate to your neighbours and will also shape how others view you and even the opportunities availed to you.
- Developing a positive outlook on life by always keeping the faith and the mind-set to work towards finding solutions. Employers and successful people want those around them who are positive and solutions oriented, not a complainer or someone who only sees the negative side of everything.
- Setting strict times for Facebook, Twitter and What’s App, so that it does not negatively impact your work or study time, will teach you how to balance the limited time we all have each day.
- Getting into the habit of using technology more for work and study rather than socialising and playing games, will teach you how to be resourceful and will enable you to be of greater benefit to your friends and future employers.
The Government of the Virgin Islands believes in the young people of this Territory and we are confident that you will make the right choices for your success and for the success of the Territory. It is impossible to have a successful Territory without successful young people. We encourage you to remain focussed and to have fun but always be aware of the habits that you need to develop to achieve success.