Craigy T, Sophia Brown empower youth at Denham Town High ... Attended boys, girls day, respectively
Denham Town High School held its annual Boys and Girls Day celebrations on Thursday, March 30 and Friday, March 31, respectively, where speakers were invited to come in and share with students, the main goal being to empower and encourage positive behaviour.
“The programme included persons who have come up through life, having a hard time, having to work during their school days. So we brought these persons to try and motivate and inspire the young men and women, and I believe they delivered. They have been given practical tips and inspiring talks,” said Karl Smith, a guidance counsellor at the school.
The school also invited entertainers Craigy T, formerly of the dancehall group T.O.K, and international reggae singer Sophia Brown.
“In the entertainment section, we try to get positive artistes who can empower our students. We don’t want the songs that will put them lower than where they are at. We want something to elevate them, so we try to get entertainers who normally do that,” Althea Grindley, another guidance counsellor at the school, told The Sunday Gleaner.
On Thursday, Craigy T used his time with the students to encourage them to stay positive, and reminded them that success is rooted in the belief in self.
“I tried to encourage them to believe in themselves, to believe that they deserve to be in school, that they deserve greatness,” he said. The singer also took the opportunity to address violence against women, in reiterating the importance of young men’s relationships with their mothers and that they must hold all women in high regard.
At the end of his presentation, Craigy T performed his songs No Apology, Real Talk and Nuh Man, before indulging in some conversation with the boys.
“We had a good day. I think that if the young men are really interested in themselves, they could not have wanted a better day in terms of being helped to chart a way for their own lives,” Smith said.
Before launching into an energetic five-song set on Friday, Sophia Brown utilised her time with the girls by inviting questions, and answering as best she could about the challenges women faced when entering the working world, using the music business as an example, where some male producers and promoters were only responsive to a female who “looks good”.
“I tell them, ‘it’s not my looks that bring me here. It’s my talent’. I’m here for business, and my business is music business. Anything you doing, you have to learn your craft, you have to manage your craft, and you have to be true to your core,” she said. “When you go out in the world, make sure they want you for your talent and what you’re capable of doing,” she said.
Brown performed If You Wanna Love Someone and Lover’s Rock, which had the young ladies clapping and dancing along.
Entertainers were not the only guests invited to the school.“For the speakers, we tried to get persons who can empower them,” Grindley told The Sunday Gleaner.
For Boys’ Day, one such speaker was Howard Harvey, whose work career began in the streets as a windscreen cleaner, and is now a career-development teacher at the HEART Trust/NTA’s Learning for Earning Activity Programme (LEAP) Centre, in pursuit of a doctorate degree.
“He used to wipe windscreens. He went to Norman Manley High School, just like Denham Town High School here. So you know the same challenges then, some of our students are experiencing them now,” Grindley said.
Invited speakers at Girls’ Day were Michelle Thomas (attorney-at-law; Kingston and St Andrew Festival Queen, 2016 and mentor for the Denham Town High School debate team) and media and marketing professional, Terri-Karelle Reid.