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Past pupils inspire at Barataria Sec career day


Trinidad Express / Barataria South Secondary School (BSSS) pupils were exposed to past pupils who have excelled in their respective fields of endeavour to encourage them to succeed. BSSS guidance officer Andre Lovell said the initiative was in keeping the the school’s Career Day theme “Discover the Possibilities 2,” which was held at Third Avenue, Barataria, on March 10. About 850 pupils attended the event.  Among the past pupils who conducted workshops and delivered motivational speeches were Loretta John PRO BSCS/BSSS Alumni past pupils; Express senior journalist Michelle Loubon; Caron Greaves, human resources specialist (Choice HR limited); Kimbale Rogers, events planner (Visionary Event Solutions); and Kiran Knights, fashion designer (Kiran K Clothing Line). Among those present were BSSS principal Charlene Hicks-Raeburn; vice principals Sardarsingh and Xavier; and veteran calypsonian Crazy (Edwin Ayoung). Crazy sang Sparrow’s “Education” and the late King Austin’s “Progress”. In 2009, Loubon, a past pupil, was the feature speaker at BSSS graduation ceremony.  Interviewed on Monday, Lovell said: “We wanted to expose the pupils to past pupils who had done well. They would meet and chat with people who have become leaders. We exposed them to various occupations, opportunities for training and motiviation for innovation and entrepreneurship. We want them to discover their God-given potential and talents, and become responsible adults.”  Lovell added: “The feedback is students enjoyed it. We catered for the entire school population with the Police Mounted Branch; Police Guard and Emergency; beauty culture; UWI, USC and UTT. It was a a creative way of disseminate formation. Many schools will just target certain forms. English and science departments also put on displays. Pupils were interested and interactive. The staff supported the students. We had a formal start to set the tone. Some of the students did a bit of drama. The presentation focused on the importance of doing school work. When it’s time for a job, and you don’t have the qualifications, it will be difficult. The drama set the tone for the importance of the career day.”  Raeburn visited the classrooms and encouraged her charges to participate in the sessions and develop curious minds.  During her session, Greaves gave pupils some tips on resume writing “boot camp,” and introduced them to a sense of purpose session. She distributed pamphlets which urged pupils to adopt some of the core values of her organisation such as leadership, gratitude, fairness, customer excellence and hope and suggested pupils start a school magazine. She was even willing to donate copies which she had from the 1970s to kickstart the project. The pupils distributed specially made career day bookmarks with a motivational quote from American educator Steven Covey, which read ”I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”  Journalism integral to democracy  During her three sessions, Loubon distributed copies of Express newspapers. She fielded questions related to print, radio and television journalism.  As expected, the pupils said they received a wealth of information from social media. Several of them had a penchant for international news. Loubon said journalism was about “gathering, processing and dissemination of news and information related to the news for an audience, and, journalism refers to the literary style which is used to disseminate it. Loubon also told the pupils journalism was an integral part of a democratic society. She shared excerpts from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Code of Ethics which includes elements like Seek Truth and Report it, Minimise Harm, Act Independently and Be Accountable. Loubon shared some of her heartwrenching experiences while on assignment in Port au Prince, Haiti. She urged them to read avidly about Trinidad and Tobago’s history and the collected poems of late St Lucian Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott.

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