'Make your mark'!
Published: Wednesday | July 8, 2009
Lieutenant Geoff Roper, commanding officer at the Jamaica Defence Force Air Wing, encourages teens to strive for excellence in the field of study they enjoy during the Make Your Mark Summer Camp teenage exclusive at the University of Technology's faculty of education and liberal studies on Monday. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer
Teenagers at a Make Your Mark Summer Camp seem ready to make positive changes in their community, schools and country, after an inspirational first day at the inaugural event at the University of Technology's faculty of education and liberal studies.
"The thing is, nobody can take your dream and live it for you. You have to do that, and it's gonna take work," said Lieutenant Geoff Roper, commanding officer at the Jamaica Defence Force Air Wing, who gave an encouraging talk to the attentive students.
Roper explained that a good way of doing this was for each person to find something that they liked.
"Do what makes you happy, do not limit yourself when the world is at your feet," he stressed.
Roper's words seemed to stir interest in the teenagers as they eagerly raised their hands to ask questions.
"But what if what you love can't pay the bills?" asked one student, as a few others giggled.
Dominique Brown, an artist who was also on hand, answered the question.
"There's nothing that you can do that can't pay the bills, anything that you do, can," she said reassuringly, while drawing on several examples to make her point clear.
Brown's point was reiterated by Jacqueline Coke-Lloyd, who is in charge of the programme.
Coke-Lloyd, the managing director and chief operations officer of Process Technology and Solutions Limited, implored students to explore all the possible avenues.
"Do not limit yourself. You can turn anything into a business," she said
Coke-Lloyd, the former chief executive officer and executive director of the Jamaica Employers' Federation, who started the programme, said after rearing two children, she knows what the needs are and this would be helpful in carrying out a successful summer camp.
"I believe that Jamaicans are great people but many of our young people don't know how to tap into their own niche and God-given talent," noted Coke-Lloyd.
It is with the gaps in mind that she has created the programme to give teenagers exposure to money management, career planning, constructive networking, and other skills. The children are also taught to understand their parents and visit new and interesting places.
For more information on the Make Your Mark Summer Camp, contact the Secretariat at 29 Phoenix Avenue, Kingston 10; tel: 925-0038; or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org