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Aria Laidlow and Franz George

Aria Laidlow, left, and Franz George.

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NEW YORK — Two Vincentians, Franz George and Aria Laidlow, now serve on the prestigious Commonwealth Youth Council for the period 2018 to 2020.

The Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) is the official voice of the young people across all Commonwealth nations.

The council’s aim is to further advance the youth development agenda by integrating young people into the development work of the Commonwealth at national, regional, and Pan-Commonwealth levels. It also provides a sustainable platform for unified engagement with decision makers and youth-led development initiatives.

George and Laidlow both join the council highly qualified for their respective positions, and will serve on the Caribbean and Americas Regional Committee of the CYC.

George was elected to the CYC executive as the Caribbean and Americas Region Representative in April of 2018. As the Caribbean and Americas Region Representative he will work to ensure that the voice of the region’s young people is heard. He will also lead the Caribbean and Americas Region Committee who will help him fulfil his mandate. The committee will also be led in the development and execution of several projects. For his tenure, he will be focusing on the organisational transformation of the CYC in the Caribbean and Americas region and connecting the CYC with the grassroots.

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George brings a wealth of experience in youth leadership. While at the University of the West Indies he served on the student guild for two years. During those two years, he propelled his advocacy to a regional level as he was also part of the Inter Campus Guild Council (ICGC). He also worked with the National Integrity Action (NIA), an anti-corruption NGO and member organisation of Transparency International in Jamaica. While at NIA Franz co-founded the Integrity Action Movement (IAM), the NIA’s youth arm.

Professionally, George has served as a researcher, educator and business consultant.

He holds a Bachelors of Science in psychology (with management) and a Masters of Arts in teaching (with emphasis on adult education and training).

Laidlow was selected to serve on the Caribbean and Americas Regional Committee in November 2018. Out of hundreds of applicants, she was chosen for the position of

Director of Programme Development, and will lead the development of all CYC

programmes, especially those related to Climate Change and National Youth Councils.

Laidlow is passionate about youth empowerment and climate change in the Caribbean.

Laidlow brings over eight years of experience to the CYC, as she was involved in political youth advocacy in SVG. She was also an instrumental member of the Bequia

Innovators Toastmasters Club where she held the position of VP of Education. Laidlow’s passion to empower young Vincentians also extend into one of her most recent project’s — Youth Opportunities SVG (YOSVG). YOSVG currently acts as a platform that provides local, regional and international opportunities for young Vincentians.

Laidlow holds a Master of Science in environmental change and management from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Science in geography and environmental natural resource management from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.

George and Laidlow will work alongside nine other young professionals from the region on the Caribbean and Americas Regional Committee of the CYC.

The Commonwealth Youth Council will be undertaking an aggressive brand and project awareness campaign, to ensure all young people across the region are aware of the organisation’s initiatives.