FORTY-FIVE YOUNG people from the county of Surrey (Kingston and St Andrew, Portland and St Thomas) recently converged in Morant Bay for career and entrepreneurship advice.
This was made possible through the Governor General's I Believe Youth Consultative County Conference.
Special adviser to the Governor General Ambassador Evadne Coye said the aim was to get young people thinking outside the box when it comes to their future.
"It is a way of saying there are opportunities, but they're not going to come to you, you have to search for them," she said. Young entrepreneurs were on hand to share their stories.
"And we have the Jamaica Business Development Corporation who are going to be telling them how to start up a business." Financial institutions like Jamaica National Building Society were also present, outlining various loan options.
Ambassador Coye said the students are selected by the custodees of every parish, after consulting with the various schools and youth groups.
"Once we get the list, we (King's House) go through their bio data," Ambassador Coye said, explaining that information other than the number of subjects they passed was more helpful.
"Sometimes when they tell you they want to be a lawyer, for example, and you look at their hobbies and subject areas, you realise this person needs career guidance. So we put them in the section for careers." That group discussion helps the youth to assess their skills and their interests.
She added: "And then see if we can give them some guidance to prepare themselves." Conferences are limited to 50 participants, because each presenter gets adequate one-on-one time with each person. So Ambassador Coye was disappointed that five didn't show up for the session.
Apart from the presentations by the business interests, there was a motivational talk from Juleus Ghunta, a 'transformational speaker' who dared the youth to dream big. He used his own tough upbringing as proof they too can succeed by thinking positively. Ghunta said they all had something to contribute.
"I know there is greatness in each and every one of you," he said. "Failure is not a person, it's a stage that we all must go through." Quoting Marcus Garvey he said, "to be ambitious is to be great in mind and soul. It is to want that which is worthwhile and strive for it."