Country represented at youth Change workshop in Seattle

SEATTLE, Washington–Three student care workers from St. Maarten attended a youth change workshop in Seattle, Washington earlier this month.

Hadiya “Ari” Sutton of Charlotte Brookson Academy was invited to the workshop and in turn extended the invitation to her colleagues in the field Barbara Cocks of St. Maarten Academy PSVE and Lenworth Wilson Jr. of Gifted Foundation.

The two-day conference gave the care workers an opportunity to exchange ideas about intervention strategies and counselling methods with social workers, juvenile detention workers and school psychologists from Canada and the United States. While the workshop centred on counselling methods and intervention techniques for troubled and at-risk youth, there were many techniques that were applicable to the students on St. Maarten.

“The primary reason we attended this programme, was to be able to network with professionals in our field and hone our skills as social workers, student care coordinators and youth workers,” stated Sutton.

Sutton and Cocks pointed out that there are pressing issues facing students on St. Maarten from self-esteem issues, self-harm, depression, anger management, and bullying.

Member of Parliament (MP) Claret Connor of the United People’s (UP) party assisted in securing contributions for Sutton and Cocks from Sherman Marten of Canoa and Rum and Peas Restaurants, management of the Executive Business Service (EBS) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (COCI). Wilson Jr. also received financial contribution from Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) for his attendance.

Marten stated he was honoured to support the care workers. “It was time that St. Maarten took care of their youth,” he said.

Dijkhoffz of EBS said, “It is essential that we equip our educators with the appropriate tools needed for them to be effective at their work.”

St Maarten COCI President Peggy Ann Brandon said the Chamber believes in capacity building and fully supported the participation of the social workers in an international forum.

Connor thanked the sponsors for aiding the care workers participation in the workshops and looked forward to the participants implementing the techniques and knowledge gained into their ongoing youth programs at our various institutions.

A follow-up workshop will be planned by the trio for the purpose of information exchange among fellow professionals in the field locally.

Source: The Daily Herald