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Anglican Archdeacon James Palacious is the new Management Council Chairman for the Governor General Youth Award (GGYA).  The  body is  responsible  the   day-to-day operations of the program .

The  chairmanship was announced yesterday  during a press conference  held at the Anglican Diocesan Office.

Father  Palacious spoke  to the importance of GGYA in the community as well as being a part of the empowerment organization.

“I am delighted to be a part of this great international organization and this is on par with anything in our country  as far as youth empowerment is concerned.

“But, I am also cognizant of the fact that it needs to reach into more of the areas where you have at risk kids, especially boys. We will want to have an outreach again, building on what has happened in the past and some new things.

“Ultimately, we are dealing here with the empowerment of our youth,” the  Archdeacon said.

Since its re-inception in 1987, GGYA has attracted more than 10,000 young men and women between the ages 14 and 2;, who have learned the value of teamwork;  how to make a difference in their communities; to  develop  new skills that  will carry with them through life and along the way discover their own strengths.

Boasting  that  there has been no GGYA member incarcerated for the first 27 years of its service, Father Palacious explained  the role he would like to see the government take in the community.

“I urge the government to have more guidance counselors, more probation officers, more chaplains, more attendance officers, so that we could really reach some of the at risk kids.

“We say we don’t have money for that, but the truth is,  it takes about $20,000 a year to house a prisoner.  Now  we have a choice to make,” Archdeacon Palacious  said.

“If you pay someone $50,000 to be a social worker or an attendance officer or guidance counselor, you don’t have to be a genius to see that if  that person by his or her effort prevents two or three persons from going to prison, then you are already making money a part from the social fallout.

“It costs over $3,000 to deliver a baby at PMH.  If we could get some people to prevent some of these young ladies from becoming pregnant, a part from the fallout, we are doing a great work and I hope that we could get a cadre of youngsters who could help youngsters,” Mr. Palacious stated.

Archdeacon also noted that if GGYA works alongside other existing youth programmes, church-based and other organizations, that  would be an extension of GGYA’s community outreach.

“It is when we connect young people with young people under the capable guidance of adults,  then we could turn the tide and have a better Bahamas,” the Anglican Archdeacon  stated.

Archdeacon Palacious takes  up  his new appointment after former Management Council Chairman Jack Thompson resigned recently.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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