While every child has the potential to be great, the journey to discovery is as unique at one’s fingerprint. This journey is particularly arduous for students with behaviour challenges.
Thus in an effort to change maladaptive behaviours in order to unearth latent potential, and formalise its already existing internal mentorship approach to staff development, Maverick Communications Limited launched a programme to help transform the lives of some 20 young persons, and their parents. Created in 2013, The Re-Birth Project was designed as an annual eight-week life-changing, interactive, behaviour-modification programme for at-risk youth, aged 12-16. Additionally, The Re-Birth Project equips participants with skills, actionable techniques and information they can use to better navigate life’s challenges without succumbing to delinquency.
Having successfully staged four phases, the programme geared towards employing protective strategies to encourage youth to strive for excellence is now back for its milestone fifth anniversary staging. This year, under the theme “My Future… My Choices,” the project will again seek to help buffer youth against the many negative risk factors they face.
The focus for this year’s phase will be to help participants see the need to make decisions that contribute to their overall development and wellbeing, but at the same time, ensure that they secure the best possible outcome for their future.
“For this, our fifth staging we certainly look forward to providing these young ones with the guidance, coaching and tools they need to develop a sense of purpose and an attitude of excellence. Inspiring a child to work towards achieving self-regulated discipline is paramount to his/her becoming respectable adults in the future,” says Melody Cammock-Gayle, CEO at Maverick Communications Limited.
She says the role of parents is no less important either. “We aim to provide them with the training and information necessary to reinforce their child’s strengths and teach them better parenting techniques, much to the benefit of both them and the child,” she added.
Having started the project with students from the Norman Manley and Tivoli High School in Kingston, the project has also engaged students from Gaynestead, Tarrant and will this year welcome Ardenne High School. But consistently involved has been Norman Manley High.
This year’s staging is projected to be no less engaging than previous years, as the team continues to employ the use of motivational presentations, Edu-dramas, interactive sessions, dramatic presentations along with one-on-one sessions with some of Jamaica’s leading CEOs and popular personalities. Weekly sessions open with a popular and achieved motivational speaker, before student and participants separate to workshops facilitated by trained personnel, on the same subject-matter. This even extends to individual counselling sessions as the need arises.
The organisers say this format is effective as it allows for open discussions with both groups of participants in sessions about relevant issues like anger management and conflict resolution. For this staging, workshops will include topics like financial literacy and entrepreneurship executed by financial experts from First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union, as well as career management and acceptable social behaviour. As the students gain knowledge, inspiration; parents learn practical skills for supporting their children. Cammock-Gayle also noted that the motivational presentations are particularly well-received as participants hear from and interact with persons they have seen on television, or read about.
“This builds aspirations,” she explained. “When the participants hear relatable life stories, they know that their own struggles can be overcome. We also have positively influential young persons coming in, talking with their peers. In this phase one of our special guests will be Mr. Teen United Nations 2017, Rodain Richardson of Ardenne High School.
“Overall, we are pleased with the reviews on the impact The Re-Birth Project has been making. We’ve had students tell us they feel important and their attitudes have changed. Parents have also said their conflict resolution skills have improved; and they are thankful for the programme because they get less calls from the school about their children.” Cammock-Gayle said.
Past speakers and presenters of the programme included: Dr. Glen Christian, CEO & Chairman, Cari-Med Limited; Rohan Ambersley, CEO, Massy Gas Products; Jerome Cowans, Youth Development Consultant; Marcus Steele, CEO Carreras Limited; Dahlia Harris, Actor & Television Personality; Benjamin Fraser, Youth Parliamentarian; Dr. Carolyn Jackson-Pinnock, Executive Clinical Director, Caribbean Tots to Teens and Wayne McKenzie, CEO, Jamaica Energy Partners, among others.
The project is slated to begin March 3 at Webster Memorial Church.