Christopher Famous

High school graduation is a community event in every sense

  • Ready for action: Taj Lowery, Kai Lowery, Jacy Lowery, Kaori King, Lisa Lowery and Charles Lowery are regular helpers in the neighbourhood clean-ups, and the youngsters earn community hours along the way

Within a few short months, hundreds of our young adults will be standing together wearing caps and gowns for their respective high school graduation ceremonies.

A culmination of between 12 and 13 years from primary school to senior school. The sum total of attaining the requisite grades, and cocurricular and community hours to meet the necessary criteria of their soon-to-be alma maters.

Cocurricular hours would be any time spent doing out-of-school activities such as sport, dance or music lessons.

Community hours would be any time spent doing volunteer work such as at the hospital, with seniors, or, as the term states, in the community at large.

At a recent presentation held at CedarBridge Academy, it was clearly stated in documents handed out that to qualify for a government scholarship, students would have had to meet the minimum standard of 80 community hours.

Going further, it was explained that most scholarship committees tend to look more favourably on applicants who have demonstrated that they have exceeded the minimum number of community hours.

Subsequent discussion revealed that some students have completed hundreds of community hours, while unfortunately others have not reached anywhere near their quota.

With the clock ticking closer and closer to graduation, there are, without a doubt, many young persons and their parents who are, rightfully, getting a bit concerned.

Well, that is the bad news. Here is the good news.

Over the course of the past year, a number of parents have sent their young persons out on a Saturday to join in the Parish Pride Project for our bimonthly neighbourhood clean-ups.

These projects have evolved beyond simply cutting cane grass and/or pushing a lawnmower.

As more adults have joined in, they have taken young persons under their wing and begun to transfer knowledge and skill sets to their new apprentices.

Be it the proper way to string up a weed whacker, sharpen a chainsaw or prepare a wall for painting, we have seen a growing number of young persons getting not only hands-on training but, more importantly, a true sense of learning from elders in the community for a few hours.

As importantly, we have seen the joy of skilled tradesmen passing on their knowledge to others.

Some prime examples of veterans who faithfully contribute their time are Larry Symonds, Lew Trott, Robert Wilson and Arthur Simons, the “Mayor of Flatts”.

Tomorrow, we will be back at it again between 9am and noon, with a variety of tasks to be tackled.

One job will be the scraping and priming of a wall belonging to a senior. Another task will be some light landscaping, including weed-whacking, raking and clearing overgrowth. In conclusion, if you know of any high school students who are in need of community hours, or if you have a desire to share your skills with some young Bermudians, please feel free to meet us at the entrance of Green Acres.

We will have plenty of water and snacks available for you.

Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him at WhatsApp on 599-0901 or e-mail at cfamous@plp.bm