by Curlan Campbell
- Reunion is expected to take place in December
- Essay competition had nearly 500 student participants
- Everod Samuel sponsored cash awards to top students
What started as a conversation on social media in 2019, to reconnect “Old Boys” of the Grenada Boys’ Secondary School (GBSS), quickly morphed into the establishment of the GBSS Alumni International Foundation (AIF).
The newly formed GBSS-affiliate group comprised former students living in the diaspora, who attended the GBSS dating back to the 1970s, 80s and 90s. They are now on a mission to continue to foster meaningful relationships between GBSS alumni and current students and has established a mentorship programme using the Zoom platform to help prepare students for a successful future and leave a lasting impact on their alma mater through guidance and mentorship on their studies and their career choices.
The foundation in collaboration with teachers from the English Department successfully organised an essay competition under the topic ‘The Qualities of a Leader I Admire’, with nearly 500 students taking part. The competition split between senior and junior students, and in each category, they awarded the top 3 placements on Monday, 5 July 2021.
In the Senior category, Elijah Clarke won a $450 cash prize for his winning essay on former US President Barack Obama. Kazim Walters in second place was awarded $300, and Amde Stroude in third place received $200. In the Junior category, De Andre Hector’s winning essay was about Nelson Mandela. Bryce Forrester placed second and Caleb Lucas placed third. The cash prize was presented to the students by AIF member Joseph Noel.
Everod Samuel a Grenadian engineer and AIF member sponsored the cash awards to the top students. The former GBSS student is a graduate of Howard University where he got a Masters in Electrical Engineering. In his virtual address to the students, while educating them on the history of the institution, Samuel reminded that his transformation started in Form 3 with a behavioural change towards learning. Through hard work and dedication, he transformed from being an average student to becoming the founder of Samuel Engineering Inc, a full service, multi-discipline, project development and execution company based in the United States.
Samuel said, “Our school motto ‘No Reward Without Labour’ came alive for me and I started paying attention in class, doing homework and studying. I even develop the habit of even reading the section of the textbook before the topic was covered or presented in the class. You see, I shifted to focus on mastery of the material…and that behaviour marked the beginning of a surprising trend for me that was very successful until today.”
GBSS Guidance Counsellor and Liaison Personnel for the AIF Shelly-Ann Lewis, welcomed the initiative since the aspect of more strong male leadership is lacking in today’s society. “Young teenage boys still need a strong positive male influence. They need positive affirmation more from a father like mentor-like figure and the association provides that additional support in terms of mentorship, as well as they, can share their experiences and the challenges they have faced as they pursue their various careers.”
English Literature teacher at GBSS Patrina Abraham encouraged some of her students to participate in the competition. “The competition encouraged students to do research which can help them by the time that they get to Form 5, to be able to write their SBAs as well. If we have a competition every year then there will be something for them to look forward to because we know students like incentives, so we expect that our level of writing skills will improve.”
At present, the AIF are in the planning stages of a reunion of former students to include soliciting cash and in-kind sponsorship to help young students of GBSS. The reunion is expected to take place in December.
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