News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – “Spending time with our young people to understand their perspective is invaluable as we begin to peel back the layers behind the community violence crisis,” said Minister of National Security Michael Weeks, as he interacted with a group of young people participating in the Mirrors Programme.

The Minister was present at the Bermuda Industrial Union’s headquarters last week for the Programme’s monthly session with young people, who told him directly about what life is like for them as young people in Bermuda and the impact of violence on their lives.

The Mirrors sessions are designed to further youth development and make progress on the latest of the organisation’s eight ‘keys’ or principles of character development, dubbed by the Programme as the “8 Keys of Excellence”, according to Kimberley Jackson, the Programme’s manager.

The curriculum’s ‘key’ for December is “Speak with Good Purpose,” in which participants are encouraged to speak honestly and kindly of themselves and others.

The theme will also involve the encouragement of participants to monitor their words and use words as a means of empowerment versus using words negatively.

During the gathering, the Minister had the opportunity to ask questions and listen to young people’s views.

The Minister added: “I arranged for this visit to continue the work of my Ministry’s successful workshop for key stakeholders in September.

“At that two-day conference, we met with professionals in the field and had frank conversations about solving the community violence problem.  It was, therefore, a natural next step that I would meet with young people to understand how to respond better to their needs and the needs of their families.

“All the feedback we have received from the professionals and the young people will be used to refine our National Strategic Plan. I look forward to meeting more young people from other organisations in the New Year.”