News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – “Embrace the challenges, for they will strengthen you. Seek knowledge, for it will guide you,” said Minister of National Security Michael Weeks, JP, MP, as he addressed the young boys in the I AM programme, bringing together 70 boys from primary schools to foster positive ambitions and development.

Recently, the Ministry of National Security’s Gang Violence Reduction Team (GVRT) I Am Program hosted the Say It Loud Summit. 

The I AM Program is a targeted and immersive initiative consisting of 12-16 sessions designed specifically for Bermuda’s primary and middle school students.

This cohort consisted of Paget Primary, Purvis Primary, Prospect Primary, and Harrington Sound Primary School. 

Its primary objective is to mitigate risk factors, strengthen protective factors, boost academic motivation, and enhance overall development in young participants. 

The programme aims to instil a sense of purpose, foster resilience, and equip students with essential life skills by creating a structured and experiential learning environment. 

Through focused interventions and a supportive atmosphere, the I AM Program strives to empower these young individuals, nurture their unique talents, and provide them with the tools they need to succeed academically and personally.

This engaging event took place at Fun Zone in St. David’s and marked a milestone in the I Am programme’s continuous efforts to empower and inspire the youth.

The Say It Loud Summit concluded this cohort’s weekly sessions held in schools, aiming to foster personal development and promote positive behaviour among young individuals. 

In speaking to the youngsters, Minister Weeks emphasised the significance of the summit and the importance of the boys’ active participation in their personal growth and success. 

He said, “I want you to understand the tremendous power within you. You can shape your destinies, become whatever you dream of, and achieve greatness.

“And above all, remember that doing well and positively impacting the world is the greatest achievement one can strive for.”

To further set the tone for the day, Pastor Leroy Bean, the Gang Violence Reduction Coordinator, stepped forward to inspire the young men. 

He called upon them to embrace the opportunities presented during the summit and seize their potential to achieve greatness.

The youngsters then participated in a series of engaging workshops and interactive activities, including Real Talk Sessions with Keshan Bean, Director of Fun Camps, Unlocking your Super Hero Workshop led by Bishop Lynn Landy, and Mindfulness and Breathing exercises facilitated by Latoya Bridgewater. 

These activities reinforced the positive messages the young boys had learned throughout the year in the I AM programme while encouraging them to participate in their personal growth and future success actively.

The GVRT organised and executed the Say It Loud Summit, showcasing their commitment to addressing violence in the community from an early age. 

Under the guidance of Bishop Leroy Bean, the GVRT staff of Darren Woods, Lynn Landy, and Cadre Smith have continually demonstrated their dedication to creating a safer and more harmonious Bermuda.

Minister Weeks added, “By providing young boys with a platform to express themselves, develop essential life skills, and explore their potential, we are taking proactive steps in preventing violence and building a brighter future for Bermuda.”