On Tuesday April 2, 2012, I was invited to join a distinguished panel of Prime Minister’s Youth Awardees to discuss nation building and how young individuals can contribute to the holistic development of our country in the studios of Hot102FM. Myself along with fellow Prime Minister’s Youth awardees Timar Jackson, who excelled as a student at The University of the West Indies and was awarded in the category of Academics with a GPA of 4.2. aw well as 19 year old Simon Preston who copped an award in the field of Journalism, were interview by Hot 102fm’s Richard “Dickie” Crawford. During the thirty (30) minute interview, we discussed everything from our upbringing, our experiences with how Jamaica and Jamaicans are perceived abroad, ways to move our country forward and the need for our local universities to collaborate and create an avenue where our best and brightest can combine skills to create solutions that will help move our island forward.
During the discussions Simon shared his views as a sports journalist on how sports can contribute to nation building, Timar expounded on how is analytical skills can aid Jamaica’s economic development and I spoke briefly about a 100% Renewable Jamaica and collaboration and cross institution integration to develop robotics in Jamaica . We all shared the common view and that the resources we need to move our country forward is here and still untapped. We have the human resources with smart young minds and we also have the land space to utilize and build our exporting portfolio. My experiences at the 2011 Robotics Competitions were also discussed and here I brought forward the point that in the eyes of the world our little Jamaica is an impressive giant. The UTech 2011 Robotics Team built an earthquake rescue robot capable of detecting victims trapped in an earthquake modeled situation. The team was awarded a 2nd place finish for the 2011 event while our small island placed 3rd in last years robotics competition in Orlando, Florida USA. The other awardees were also of a similar view that Jamaica can start the rebuilding processing by Putting the Wind to Work to lower the cost of electricity then build our manufacturing industry with internationally competitive products. They too shared that from their experiences, persons were a bit awestruck by the Jamaican effect whenever they represented the country and this is normally expounded whenever they see an individual excel outside the field of Music and Sports. Mr. Crawford hosted a very vibrant discussion filled with innovative ideas on how we can move our nation forward and how youths can really make a positive impact on nation building. I was again comforted by the knowledge that whatever our problems may be, all the ideas, talent and drive required to solve them are here among both young and old.
I also had quite the crash course in the role of actuaries in managing financial risks and how critical these individuals are behind the scenes from Timar Jackson. It was also great to hear Simon’s analysis of the present Reggae Boyz team and his outlook on the future, full of hope as soon as the chemistry and cohesion is created among the team members. It was truly a delightful 30 mins, I hope those who were listening, especially the young and the young at heart were inspired to both go after your passions and play your own small part in our nation’s development.