The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Grammar School Young Leaders held its opening launch on March 7. The SVGS Young Leaders’ project will be based on the national theme, “I am WE: Volunteering for IMPACT” and the school’s subtheme: “Volunteering together – an impact lasting forever.”

Alfred John, deputy headmaster, in delivering the opening remarks, spoke about the cons of competition. He went on to talk about why young leaders should volunteer, and expanded on the pros of volunteering. Guest speaker, Reverend Adolf Davis, focused on the “I am WE” aspect of the national theme. Drawing on anecdotes, he reminded the audience that “there is no ‘I’ in team” and highlighted how selfishness can diminish the productivity of a team and dishearten members.

President of the SVGS young leaders, Gian-Paul Baker spoke on both the national and school’s sub-theme. He quoted Mahatma Ghandi, the preeminent leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India, who said: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service to others.” Baker underscored the importance of serving and helping others.

Baker went on to explain the school’s subtheme.

“We chose this subtheme as it truly represents what we as the St. Vincent Grammar School Young Leaders seek to do; it is our take on the national theme. The volunteering together is used to stress the importance of teamwork as no single man can carry out ANY impactful task. Rather, we must work together to achieve a common goal, that is, to have a lasting impact on any person we interact with as we continue to volunteer. This is how we get to the second half of our subtheme, an impact lasting forever… Now how do we achieve this impact? We have struggled to find what this impact is, but I think we came close. After we have volunteered… the people may forget what we said, they may forget what we did … but they will never forget how we made them feel. That is the lasting impact that we hope to leave once this program is over.”

Immediate past president, Shane Cadogon, shared his experiences as president and offered advice to the new group of students.