The 2021 Youth Mayor for Lucea, Hanover, Timothy Kent, has cited the resilience of Jamaicans as pivotal to building a stronger country in the post-coronavirus (COVID-19) era.
The 18-year-old, who is a grade 11 student at Rhodes Hall High School in Hanover, topped the five entrants participating in this year’s Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC) Youth Mayor Competition, which was staged virtually for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his inaugural address to the Corporation recently, Timothy said despite the devastating effects of COVID-19 over the past 20 months, Jamaica is emerging stronger partly due to the strength and resilience of many citizens.
“The pandemic has both brought out the best in us and exposed [our] ‘fault lines’. Most of all, it has given us a new perspective on longstanding issues, which we will need to address if we are to rebuild… stronger families, stronger communities, a stronger economy and, by extension, a stronger Jamaica,” he emphasised.
While acknowledging that the effects of COVID-19 are likely to be felt for some time, despite signs of Jamaica emerging from the resulting fallout, Timothy maintained that “we must build on the strength, innovativeness and resilience of our people”, whom he described as “the heroes of the Pandemic”.
Timothy, who hails from the community of Santoy in Hanover, aspires to be an accomplished musician, while eying a career in politics.
Chair of the Corporation’s Civic and Community Affairs Committee and Deputy Mayor, Councillor Andria Dehaney-Grant, commended the entrants and their teachers, who assisted with their preparation, for responding to the call to participate in the competition at short notice.
Councillor Dehaney-Grant noted that due to the late start of the 2021/22 academic year in October, participants were given less than three days to prepare their five to seven-minute video presentations on the theme: ‘Local Government at the Forefront of Building Back Stronger’.
She pointed out that although all high schools in the parish were invited, only four responded with 5 students.
The result of the competition also saw Allison Trench of Rusea’s High School emerging Youth Deputy Mayor, and Christopher Campbell, also of Rusea’s; Ashawna Irving of Green Island High School; and Rachel Coach of Hopewell High School being selected Youth Councillors.
HMC Chairman and Mayor of Lucea, Councillor Sheridan Samuels first commended the students for the high standard of their presentations which he said did not reveal the short time within which they were prepared.
He encouraged them to stay focused, pursue higher education “and… really aspire to reach your goals [in life].”
The Youth Mayor Competition was staged as part of the activities marking Local Government Month in November.