Minister Chang looking to ramp up training for unattached Westmoreland youth

National Security Minister Horace Chang (centre), shares a moment with Aneshia Brown (right) and her son Orlando Barrett. The occasion was Grange Hill High School’s graduation exercise held on Thursday (Feb. 20). Brown participated in the National Unattached Youth Programme offered at the school. (Photo: Okoye Henry, JIS)

Minister of National Security, Dr. Horace Chang, says he is looking to partner with the relevant Government entities and stakeholders in Grange Hill, Westmoreland, to increase training opportunities for unattached youngsters in the community, as part of the fight against crime.

He was speaking at the Grange Hill High School’s 50th graduation ceremony held on Thursday (Feb. 20) at the Grange Hill New Testament Church of God.

More than 60 students graduated, many of whom were enrolled the National Unattached Youth Programme (NUYP) and Career Advancement Programme.

The graduating class of the Grange Hill High School in Westmoreland at the ceremony held at the Grange Hill New Testament Church of God on Thursday. (Photo: Okoye Henry, JIS)

Minister Chang congratulated the graduating class for “sticking with you[r] goals” despite various challenges.

He said he wants to see more youngsters recruited into the programmes, particularly the NUYP, which provides certification in areas such as cake baking, housekeeping, bartending, tour guide, business administration and more. 

“I would like to work with the principal, the Member of Parliament, the other community leaders, board members and the various Government agencies to expand the process of reaching out to the community,” he said.

“It is the intention of the Ministry of National Security to work closely with the leadership in the community and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to provide additional resources,” he added.

Grange Hill High School graduate, Rogeive Beeput, accepts his certificate from teacher Tracey-Ann Williams during the institution’s 50th graduation ceremony on Thursday. (Photo: Okoye Henry, JIS)

For his part, Principal of Grange Hill High School, Errol Stewart, charged the graduates, some of whom were adult learners, to never give up as they open a new chapter in their lives.

He urged them to stay the course, having conquered many obstacles to get where they are today.

“I want to say thanks to you, the graduates, for the sacrifices that you have made. Despite many challenges I want to say to you, giving up is not an option. That option is not available to any of us inside here [because] all of us have a part to play,” Stewart added.