Fostering direct engagement with our youth in the development of government policies will be the main goal of the 18 new members of the National Youth Policy Working Group announced yesterday.

Premier David Burt and Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, Dr Ernest Peets, were both on hand to announce the new members at the Sammy Wilson Community Centre on Angle Street.

As promised in the Government’s 2020 Election Platform and the subsequent Throne Speech in 2021, Mr Burt said: “Programmes that serve our youth will be reviewed for effective delivery and revised as necessary to ensure that we continue to inspire a generation of informed and independent thinkers.

“The implementation of the National Youth Policy and the establishment of this working group demonstrates that the Government values and respects the contributions of young Bermudians and the contributions that they make to our society.

“Investing in Bermuda’s youth is an investment in the future of Bermuda. Young people need to be engaged, encouraged and empowered,” he added.

“The Youth Policy Working Group that we’re announcing today is made up of individuals who will do just that.”

He also noted that each of the 18 members “brings to this group a variety of experiences and skills and all of them share a common commitment to improving the lives of young Bermudians”.

“I also shared at the time that the National Youth Policy provides a unified approach to tackle issues faced by Bermuda’s youth and provide them with the support to have positive and productive futures.”

Minister Peets said the overall policy “provides a unified approach to tackle issues faced by Bermuda’s youth and provide them with the support to have positive and productive futures”.

“At its launch last year, we also committed to creating a Working Group with a broad and diverse membership that could represent the Youth Policy’s goals,” he added.

Members of the National Youth Policy Working Group:

➢ Ariana Caines, Chair

➢ Dr Nisrine Atieh

➢ Pastor Leroy Bean 

➢ Emmanuel Faria

➢ Danielle Frith 

➢ Kelly Hunt 

➢ Kimberley Jackson

➢ Melissa Looby

➢ Ajai Peets

➢ Tanika Rayner

➢ Terri-Lynn Richardson

➢ Marli Amne Spriggs

➢ Seon Tatem

➢ Judy Teart

➢ McKenzie Tuckett

➢ Theo Wolffe

➢ Seldon Woolridge

The Ex-Officio is Mrs Nadine Henry who is also one of the driving forces behind this initiative.

“We believe that we have selected a balanced and representative Working Group of highly skilled and committed individuals, and I have tremendous confidence in what they will achieve with the National Youth Policy as its call to arms,” said Dr Peets.

“These individuals, who hail from a range of professional fields, are now charged with implementing the National Youth Policy 2021.

“And I very much look forward to their work over the coming months.

“The Working Group have already started meeting and have commenced their discussions regarding the implementation of eight Policy goals.”

As a reminder those goals are:

1. Keep young people safe and protected from harm

2. Achieve full potential in learning, development and education

3. Minimize anti-social behaviour

4. Increase employment and entrepreneurship opportunities

5. Engage youth in sport, culture and recreation

6. Support young people to be active and healthy

7. Enable participation in civic engagement; and

8. Encourage diversity and inclusion

In closing, the Minsiter said: “This Government believes that Bermuda’s future belongs to our young people, and we look forward to collaborating with those who serve on the Working Group so that we can all fulfil the vision and mission of the National Youth Policy.”