It has become customary to feature an address given by a speaker after the National Youth Awards. While there was no award for Best Speech, we at the YO! decided that the current president of the National Youth Council, Louise Victor, deserved a weekend as the guest writer for Slouch from the Couch. Her speech among other things challenged all young people to be motivated and leaders in society. We aren’t able to print her speech in its entirety but we did manage to extract a few paragraphs from her riveting contribution on the night.
And so tonight, let us not just acknowledge the power that we all so richly possess as unique individuals, but to remember it….empower ourselves daily by starting with the simple yet profound words ‘ I am….’ That I am unique, I am divinely created, I am wonderfully and fearfully made, I am a wealth of limitless potential , I am unstoppable, I am magnificence, I am wisdom , I am possibility, I am mastery, I am strong, I am a leader. That… Is the power we’re all blessed with?
International superstar, Will Smith said it best in one of my favourite motivational videos that “Power is not this god-like, esoteric, supernatural thing that exists…. It’s something that exists inside all of us…” The simple ability to do…. That… Is power.
When was the last time you acknowledged that you are a QUEEN my sister and you my brother that you are a KING. Kim Kardashian and Kanye who? Let me tell you about the young kings and queens of my land, Darren Sammy, Johnson Charles, Eleanor Joseph, Tevin Shepard, Timothy Ferdinand, RihaniIsidore, TeigeLaborde, Lavern Spencer, Ravi Lamontagne, Alisha Ally, Fiona Compton, Ezra D’funmachine, Jessica St.Rose, Jade Brown, NadegeJn Baptiste, Marcellus Cazabon , JeanelleScheaper, Kidel Sonny , Joel Morris and the list is so much more extensive….
Look around! Do we not see the limitless reservoir that we are? Do we not recognize the power that we hold? Power not just as individuals, but power as a community ….the power as a generation. A generation destined to move and shake a nation, destined for greatness, destined for change, a generation destined to awaken the power of generations yet to come.
We talk about nothing is being done, we are quick to say ‘nutting eh running’, we say that NYC and the Ministry and other agencies are not working or not active. But what have we done to contribute to these organizations or agencies of which we all have ownership, the shake-up that’s needed. Parents, teachers, educators, have we done enough to shatter paradigms and to achieve that shift from teaching our technologically sophisticated digital students and kids through archaic curriculums and outdated methods?
I encourage us all tonight to recommit to making deliberate investments in our journey, no matter the stage in life we are at. To make deliberate investments in the thoughts we allow to occupy our minds daily. We are what we think about. So let us take ownership of ourselves when we fall short, let us aspire to give our best in every single thing we do, even if it means we do not get it right the first time or the second. Let us practise the philosophies of intent, mastery, respect, happiness, peace and positivity as our journey as young people blossoms so magnificently, boldly celebrating the power that we have all been blessed with. – Louise Victor (President,N.Y.C)