Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 03, 2015 (SKNIS): In commemoration of the Commonwealth’s 2015 theme “ A Young Commonwealth”, the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) published its first ever “Commonwealth Young Achievers” book, which comprises the success stories of some 112 young people from 41 countries across the Commonwealth, two of whom are Kittitian.
Two youths from St. Kitts and Nevis, Ms. Sonia Boddie and Mr. Javon Liburd, were amongst 23 youths from the Caribbean and Americas region who were recognized in the “Commonwealth Young Achievers” book, which highlighted active young people who were making an impact in their countries and in the lives of others. According to the CYC website, “The Commonwealth Young Achievers book is aimed to inspire young people to unleash their potentials, learn from their colleagues, and encourage the achievers, as well as to encourage sharing of ideas and best practices among young people. The book will serve as a symbol of unity in diversity and monument of contemporary young achievers.”
In the 323 page book, Ms. Boddie ’s story is on page 200-201 and speaks about her greatest life challenge of coping with the physical absence of both her parents growing up,(who she first met at age 16 and 25) while being raised by her maternal grandmother who was a house servant. The article further speaks to Ms. Boddie’s ability to find hope for a brighter future through education and the utilization of her God-given talents by getting involved in netball, drama, debate, dance, theatre and pageantry and getting actively involved in youth work not only at church, but at the national level. The young motivational speaker is described as a “Youth philanthropist and leader,” and as the “epitome of youth success” having several accomplishments to her name, which include her selection as a Caribbean – Canada Emerging Leader in 2011, a British Chevening Scholar in 2011, a One Young World Ambassador and CARICOM Youth Ambassador in 2013 and being the founder of the Sonia Boddie Promising Youth Leader Scholarship in 2014. Her desire is for young people to be diligent, to be humble, to have the right attitude and to help others along as they progress. She is quoted as saying, “I am happy when I receive, but I am even happier when I can give back.”
Javon’s story can be found on page 168-169, where he is described as a “youth ambassador and youth advocate” and speaks about him struggling financially and academically in High School and later receiving the Queens Young Leader Award in 2015 for his youth and humanitarian work in his country. It further speaks to his involvement in many social and cultural conscience groups including St. Kitts Nevis Youth Parliament, Jaycees International and J3H, which is a group he founded in his community in 2013, “aimed at achieving excellence as a neighborhood.” He is regarded as being “passionate about the development of youth in every aspect their life” and encourages youth to “stand up and fight for what they truly believe in, until they get what they want and more”. “He believes that one must give back to his or her community and country and give a hand to the next generation, as was done by the elders in the community to him.” He is quoted as saying, “I give back, because I am a product of giving back.”
The soft presentation of the book was done at the General Assembly of the Commonwealth Youth Council, on November 24th in Malta, by the Commonwealth Youth Council Chairperson, Mr. Ahmed Adamu. The book is available online at www.commonwealthyouthcouncil.com under the Resources tab.