Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer
SOME 1,200 young people graduated from HEART's North Eastern Region, comprising Trelawny, St Ann, St Mary and Portland at a ceremony at the Ocho Rios Baptist Church last week.
Food-related services, early-childhood education, general construction, business administration and electrical installation, in that order, were the most popular career choices, accounting for 78 per cent of the total.
In what was a family affair, relatives travelled miles to support their loved ones and to hear speakers at the ceremony congratulate the students while challenging them to become successful in their chosen fields.
Keynote speaker Pastor Trevor Reid, education and youth director, Western Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, urged graduates to adopt positive influences in their approach to life.
Reid urged the youth to apply the four Ps to everything they are doing. These are performance, perseverance, practice, and patience.
According to Reid, one should perform at the best of his/her ability at all times and not give mediocre work. He said persons should not allow their disappointment to cause them to give up, but to continue to persevere in order to succeed.
"Practise your craft to become perfect," he urged the graduates, adding that "patience is a virtue and you must always endeavour to be patient in what you're doing."
Capture your goal
"Success is not determined by your circumstances, but one's response to circumstances around you. By trying and trying, you will achieve your goal. When you work, you must work to make Jamaica a better place," Reid urged. "Chart your own future. Capture your goal. Look at your vision and embark on what God wants you to become."
HEART Trust National Programme Director Dermon Spence told the graduating class that, having been equipped with their competencies, they are now eligible to work anywhere in the world.
"Now you can go anywhere to work. So our expectations are high, we expect you to be leaders in your field," Spence said.
Encouraging words also came from mayor of St Ann's Bay, Councillor Desmond Gilmore, who reminded the students that the graduation ceremony marks not the end, but the beginning of a journey to great things.