youth development specialist pushes ‘YES Effect’ | News

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Ruth Lawrence, author and youth development specialist, hopes an initiative she champions, “YES Effect – Vision Board and Goal Setting Project,” will bring about positive change in young people.

The project started on December 21. According to the lead host, it started well and she hopes it will only get better.

The YES Effect – Vision Board and Goal Setting Project aims to shine rays of hope on students during the COVID-19 pandemic by hosting free monthly virtual sessions.

The YES Effect initiative is guided by the mantra “See it, Plan it, Dweet it” and is designed to expose young people aged 15 to 29 to the principles of visualization, goal setting and the tools needed to use strategies to actively pursue and achieve goals.

The project was conceptualized after data from a recent UNICEF survey indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on the mental health of adolescents and young people in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The survey involved 8,444 young people between the ages of 13 and 29 across the region. It was highlighted that 15% felt depressed in the past seven days about their future, while 43% of women felt pessimistic compared to 31% for men.

Lawrence, in sharing her comments on what she describes as “a creative way to restore hope and the ability of students and young people to visualize, plan and achieve their goals”, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has discouraged many young people, because they believe that the challenges associated with the pandemic will never end. It is through this mindset that we provide them with a way to dream and relive.

Lawrence said the inspiration for the project came from her own life when she was, at one point, struggling to find her way.

PERMISSION TO DREAM

Reminiscing about what she remembered as her lowest days in 2016 and how her hope was restored, she said she ‘allowed’ herself to dream of the life she wanted and created a chart of vision to reflect what she saw as the “coming attraction” of her life. ”.

“This clarity of my vision has helped me organize myself better. It lessened my propensity to procrastinate and my appreciation of time management increased tremendously. Since then, my faith has grown tremendously, and I’ve created vision boards for almost anything I’ve desired – from studying abroad, to self-publishing my first book, to simply defining goals to read more books and more importantly spend more time with the Lord,” she shared with the gleaner.

Lawrence said that having found success through this medium, she now establishes this mission for young people so that they too can maximize their potential by writing their vision.

“I also want to warn people that the vision board is not magic; it is guided by your faith and your action. Nothing happens by accident, so it takes great faith, clear goals and strategies to achieve them,” she noted.

Lawrence encourages schools and youth organizations to recommend suitable candidates to attend her free monthly workshops, as they aim to impact 1,000 young people.

Special personal development sessions will be held on topics such as time management, stock market 101, confidence building, financial literacy and living on purpose.

The project is actively supported by 10 young volunteers: Fabrizio Darby, Isheba Cornwall, Ree-Anna Robinson, Tamoy Campbell, Keneisha Henry, Sandrene McKenzie, Alliyah DaSilva, Shantae Shand, Fabian Morris and Joshua Clarke from the University of the West Indies, Mona, University of Miami and LaFayette College.

The project implementation schedule will be seven months – January-May and September-October. Students can participate in sessions that take place via Zoom by registering on tinyurl.com/yeseffect.

cecelia.livingston@gleanerjm.com

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