"Throughout the twelve days at GYLC 2010, I was able to interact with other youth from all over the world, learn their cultures and languages and had the opportunity to meet leaders within the United States and visit many different places of interest."
My name is Rasheed Drakes and I am 19 years of age from the island of Barbados. I attended the Global Young Leaders Conference from the 18-29 July Summer 2010 and represented Saudi Arabia as my country group. Firstly, I would like to commend the Congressional Youth [Leadership] Council for having such a program that allows youth from all over the world to discuss global issues that affect us as youth and to assist in development of our leadership skills. Throughout the twelve days at GYLC 2010, I was able to interact with other youth from all over the world, learn their cultures and languages and had the opportunity to meet leaders within the United States and visit many different places of interest. GYLC has developed my leadership skills to another level.
I am part of a local youth group called the Emerging Global Leaders of Barbados which work[s] with different agencies in Barbados and International such as UNICEF of the Eastern Caribbean, York University Toronto Canada, the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA), the Child Care Board and the Ministries of Youth and Education among others. In November of 2010 after the conference, I was nominated and voted as President of the organisation.
Throughout my Presidency, I have been using the information given to me from the different presentations and site visits to implement new projects and activities. One activity that was done was to have our first fundraiser in the form of a Youth Concert entitled "Ritmo Premiere: Exposing the Talents within the Youth." The aim of the concert was to expose the talents of our youth here in Barbados and to raise funds for other youth development projects. In planning the youth concert we had some difficulties securing financial sponsorship. Coming to crunch time I as the organizer was about to call it quits, then I remembered the presentation by Ms. Mai Iskander, producer and director of Garbage Dreams. I remembered her stating she also had some financial difficulties trying to make the film but as soon as she was going to give up, her dream became a reality. I am proud to say that the youth concert came off as a big success.
I have also been in a number of local newspapers and television doing positive things in my community. I have inserted some of those articles for your perusal.
I would encourage youth here in Barbados and over the world to attend this life changing experience. As a GYLC alumni in my country, I will nominate any interested youth to be a part of the program and continue to share my experiences and skills for the development of my country and the world.