St Mary's youth mayor has big plans for the parish
CHARLES TOWN, St Mary:
Since becoming St Mary's youth mayor three months ago, Fredrina Sequira has been formulating a plan to launch a learning and education facility in the rural community where she lives in Charles Town.
Sequira is an enthusiastic grade-11 student who attends St Hilda's Diocesan High School in St Ann, and speaks eloquently about her novel ideas for local and national development.
She told Rural Xpress earlier this week: "During my time as youth mayor, I plan to establish a study centre in my community in Charles Town because there aren't any places where youths can go to get their homework done.
"Most of the young people in the area are still going to school, and they could use the centre instead of having to pay a large amount of money to travel to Ocho Rios just to get homework done.
"I think it would make a big difference to the community because the youths who are on the streets would have somewhere they can read a book and go on the Internet to learn something to help their future.
"A study centre could also be used to help adults who want to learn. It would bring people together so we can be educated as a community about diseases such Zika and what preventative measures we should be putting in place to stop mosquitoes breeding in our area."
The youth mayor added: "Learning together makes our community better, stronger and safer, and that's important because if the youths don't get a good education, Jamaica has no future."
Looking ahead, Sequira, 17, insists there is huge potential for the development of heritage tourism in St Mary, but fears the parish's historical sites and legacy remain largely ignored.
She explained: "St Mary has some great tourist attractions, such as the Rio Nuevo Battle Site, which has a wonderful
museum (Rio Nuevo Village) nearby. But when I visited, I was the only person there. Places like that really need to be promoted for the betterment of the parish.
"Also, I think a parish clean-up would be a great idea. In the capital, Port Maria, they are trying because there are good roads in some areas, but the sidewalks need to be cleaned, and the drains need upgrading because there is an odour, " she added.
As Jamaica prepares for another general election, Sequira notes that while members of parliament and councillors play important roles in the function of government, ultimately, the people most responsible for the any country's development are its citizens.
She said: "I don't think it's up to the politicians to make Jamaica better; it's up to all of us to work together to build a better county. I'd just like the politicians to stick to their word, and try to make our economy stronger without spending excessively.
"What I really want is for us to work together to make Jamaica better, so the youths can grow up in a safe and clean environment. I just hope whoever is elected is a motivator and good role model for us."