Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer
President of G2K, Floyd Green, may have found the formula that will turn the inner city youth's dreams to reality.
He is proposing the establishment of a mentorship system that would rely on the experiences of successful professionals who came from humble beginnings.
"We have to find a way to take them back into these communities and have them reach out and touch these young persons to let them know that 'I shared your reality ..., I was once in the position that you are in'," Green suggested.
He added: "These are not politicians. These are not necessarily the people in the media spotlight. But we have to seek out those persons and have them tell their stories and it is those stories that will inspire (inner-city) young people to keep dreaming and to realise their dreams."
Green offered this solution at a Gleaner Editor's Forum recently, where youth leaders bemoaned the fortunes of their peers in the inner-city. The lack of opportunity was a recurring concern. They believe that it could be stifling the ambitious dreams of young persons spread across the tough inner-city communities of the Corporate Area.
Daniel Wilson, president of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Guild of Students, believes the dreams of inner-city young people are directly linked to the opportunities available in their communities.
"And those opportunities are tied into politics, they are tied into (the availability of) jobs ... . They are tied into a myriad of other stuff," Wilson suggested.
"Everyone's dreams are centred around the realities they face. So as an example, somebody in the inner city, their dream could be to become the area leader ... . Somebody else's dream could be to fly-out (migrate)," he added.
No clearly defined structure
The youth groups find disturbing, the absence of a clearly defined structure to help them realise their dreams.
The youth leaders argued that while most of these young persons are willing to follow the proverbial 'straight and narrow' path to success, these concerns could drive others to want to emulate community dons who are involved in criminal activities.
Chairman of the National Youth Council, Ryan Small agreed, stressing that ways have to be found to bring opportunities to these communities.
Giving an example, Small said a recent visit to the community of Congo Hole, in St Elizabeth, re-inforced for him the lack of opportunities faced by young persons in deep rural communities.
For his part, president of the Young Entrepreneurs Association, Fabian Brown, is concerned that the absence of a system to ensure that the positive dreams of inner city young people become reality could be killing some of those dreams.
"Based on my own experience of working in deep rural communities and inner-city communities, the young people in both these situations have their own dreams and they are real dreams and all that is required, for the most part, is facilitation of those dreams to become reality," Brown reasoned.