After receiving training from the A Ganar Barbados Program, a program supported by the United States Government, more than 100 additional at-risk youth between the ages of 16 and 24 years graduated equipped with the requisite academic, technical, and life skills to successfully navigate the job market, pursue further studies, or start their own businesses.
To date, the sports-based, and technical and vocational training program, operates in 19 Latin American and Caribbean countries, and has trained more than 15,000 at-risk youth in the region. By the end of 2018, the Barbados program will equip more than 500 students for productive employment upon graduation from secondary school, and is expected to increase youth employability by registering more than 1,200 students to develop their academic, technical and life skills.
The 2016-2017 participants were recognized and presented with certificates during a formal graduation ceremony held recently at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. It was attended by the Deputy Chief of Mission of U.S. Embassy Bridgetown, Laura Griesmer; Minister of Education, the Honorable Ronald Jones; high-level representatives from the Inter-American Development Bank, the United States Agency for International Development, Partners of the Americas, local educational and vocational training institutions, non-governmental organizations, and private sector entities.
In addressing the ceremony, Deputy Chief of Mission Laura Griesmer said the A Ganar program exemplifies partnership, with everyone working towards a common goal of enriching the lives of Barbadian youth. “As a representative of the U.S. Government, I am proud to be a part of this team. Together our efforts have promoted the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which will help youth to improve themselves and make the best of life’s challenges, “she stated.