THE youth are our future, and that point is often underscored at any undertaking in which young people are involved. There is no doubt about the truth in these words. However, it is at times questionable how much of a priority young people are to us here in this country, when we fail to stay on top of innovations that will help them become their best selves, or constrict them to mostly academic curriculums like we have done in Saint Lucia over so many years.
Fortunately the tides are changing. There are more technical and vocational avenues for young people and even sports are no longer considered just a pastime. There is hope for the young people of today, and that hope was shining bright through the faces of students of the Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School who visited the VOICE Publishing Company this week.
The students were part of a second group from the school visiting to learn more about the world of work, and particularly, that of a newspaper company. The curious students toured through the various departments with their teachers and staff of the VOICE, where they had a closeup look at the printery, type setting, advertising and accounting departments, and later, the editorial department where they had a chance to interact with the editors and reporters from the VOICE Newspaper and Yo! Departments.
Managing Editor for the VOICE Publishing Company Kayra Williams spoke with students about the day to day functions of the department, the role of a reporter, what constituted a front page news story, how to contribute to the newspaper, and shared insight on the annual VOICE Internship for students interested in applying in 2020. Senior reporter Micah George engaged students on the attributes of a good reporter, with emphasis on the need to have a creative and curious mind, while Sports Reporter Anthony De Beauville highlighted the importance of discipline, determination and focus as it related to reaching goals in sports. Name dropping successful Saint Lucian athletes including Daren Sammy and Levern Spencer, De Beauville encouraged the students who were into sports to take it seriously, because according to him “you never know how far it can take you.
“Now there are quite a bit of opportunities in terms of scholarships, and when you go overseas, you can continue your studies and still be part of the school sporting teams where you will have a chance to challenge yourself, learn, and grow.”
Some students challenged the trend of thought that suggested when you did something you loved, it didn’t feel like work, particularly in the field of reporting, where deadlines were very important. VOICE reporter Allen Alexander responded in a way that students later said they were able to connect with: “Deadlines tend to eliminate the atmosphere of complacency,” Alexander said. “Without deadlines we feel we have all the time in the world, and tend to become laid back and not get anything done. Deadlines apply needed pressure, which doesn’t mean you love your job any less. It just means the pressure is the push you need to be more productive.”
All in all the students added a fresh burst of inspiration and excitement to the department, much like the first group had done just a week before, including with their submissions of multiple letters to the VOICE Newspaper. Here’s wishing the students and teachers all the best as their individual life plans continue to unfold, with hopes that they were in some way inspired by their visit to our offices!