DeFreitas reports that Youth LEED is progressing well, with negotiating skills being taught as a critical life lesson  

Franz deFreitas, the United Progressive Party caretaker for St. John’s City South, says his “Youth LEED” programme has been progressing well since it commenced three weeks ago.

Youth LEED is a development programme that prepares children, aged 10-17, for success by integrating public speaking and leadership development, among other disciplines.

DeFreitas says the Thursday class is full, but there are about three spaces left in the Tuesday class, since some students who registered initially have failed to show up for the lessons.

He reports that the young people involved in the initiative are excited and engaged by the programme line-up designed for them.

An orientation was held during the first week of the programme to familiarize participants with what is expected of them and what the sessions will entail.

During this time, ground rules were established for the negotiating sessions, which, deFreitas says, is a principle that people, including the youth, must be able to understand – since, in life, situations will arise in which some form of negotiation must take place.

If children are not taught to negotiate, he says, they become vulnerable and are put in positions where they can be taken advantage of.

DeFreitas says the organisers and instructors are now getting into the heart of the programme, which has an enrollment of 20 students per class.

Last week, the students were introduced to sessions dealing with entrepreneurship: the ideas of owning one’s business and knowing how to sell.

The youth were given the opportunity to figure out how to go about selling products, since deFreitas says, selling is something people will have to do all their lives.

There are many more opportunities to be explored by the young people over these coming weeks of the annual initiative, the organizer says.