Wednesday, August 24, 2016
HEART-WARMING and inspirational are the words that best describe the emotions felt by several young men of the Youth Training Centre (YTC) who seized the opportunity presented by BP Trinidad and Tobago (bpTT) to revive their studies in mathematics as a stepping stone to a better future in life.
The smiles of contentment on the faces of the youths as they received Certificates of Achievement following an intensive two-week workshop titled “Young Adult Math Experience” at the chapel of the YTC in Arouca, last Tuesday, were testament to another success story for the institution.
“To tell you the truth, I never liked maths in school but I know that you need mathematics to pursue a worthwhile career. Our tutor broke the subject down to the basics and made it really interesting and I was able to understand it. It was actually fun. I am really happy that I decided to do the course,” said Jonathan Bruce, 19, a former student of Waterloo High School.
When asked what career he would like to pursue, Bruce, who boasts of nine subjects at CXC level and sat the CAPE exams this year, said he would be entering UWI, St Augustine, to do studies in social work. “I want to make a positive contribution to society by working with young people. In fact, I hope to come back right here and help the youths like myself,” said the confident young man.
The bpTT Young Adult Math Experience offers young men and women a second chance to study math, a taxing subject for many, in a ‘fun and down-to-earth’ atmosphere. Now in its sixth year, the initiative started off with students from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and covers workshops in Port of Spain, north-west Trinidad, Mayaro and Tobago. It was extended to embrace inmates at the YTC for the first time this year.
The workshops are faciliated by training agency Cross & Associates, with tutor Nicole Lord overseeing the YTC session.
Acting Asst. Supt. Curtis James said he was happy that BP Trinidad and Tobago decided to bring the math workshop to the YTC since it fell squarely within the objectives of the institution to provide avenues for self-development for its young charges. “We welcome positive programmes that give these lads the opportunity to improve themselves academically so they can look forward to a better future in life. We sincerely hope that bpTT will continue this important partnership since it has made a real difference in the mindset of these young men,” James said.
Joel Primus, Community Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations Advisor, bpTT, gave the assurance that the workshop would return to the YTC next year. “We at bpTT are extremely pleased to see how you have embraced this math experience. The main objective of this programmme is to give young people like you a second chance to study mathematics and take it to the examinational level. I can see that you have learnt a lot from this experience and I am confident that it will serve you in good stead as you plan your life for the years ahead. We will certainly return next year,” Primus told the graduates.
The positive intervention of the bpTT math experience is just one of a list of seemingly endless success stories coming out of the institution, as Brendon Mitchell, Prison Officer 2, pointed out. “This workshop complements the work we are doing here and is another heart-warming outcome for us. The young men are engaged in academics, sports and culture and other positive activities that contribute to their self-development,” said Mitchell, whop is responsible for treatment and programmes at YTC.
“Several of the lads were a bit apprehensive at first to tackle the math workshop. But the tutor, Nicole Lord, really put them at ease which caused them to be committed and really excited about doing it. These lads feel a real sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when they complete any studies and receive a certificate. They take pride in their achievements and believe they can make a positive contribution when they leave here,” Mitchell noted.