About the programme
The RBC Young Leaders Programme dates back to 1981. It began as an essay-writing competition where candidates wrote about the importance of savings. By 1984 the programme broadened its scope to encourage community development, challenging students to implement sustainable projects that would benefit their respective communities. This was followed by two name changes—Star Class in 1988 and Young Leaders in 1990. By 2002, another component, the Young Leaders Debates, was introduced to provide a forum for students to build and improve public-speaking skills.
The mandate of Young Leaders is “to help young people develop leadership skills, appreciate teamwork in the pursuit of a common goal, foster care for the community and the environment, promote thrift toward strengthening the social, moral, and economic well-being of the community and implement sustainable programmes that have meaningful and wide-ranging impact.”
Today, the programme has expanded to touch the lives of young people in Antigua, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts/Nevis and St. Lucia. The programme is open to secondary schools students in forms three and four.
The 2011/2013 theme
Be the change
“Stand Up and Be The change”. That was the call of the Dalai Lama speaking to a group of young people in the United Kingdom in June 2012. He challenged them to take responsibility for their actions, and be the change they want to see in this world.
You, today’s generation of young persons, are the largest the world has ever known. You have the greatest potential ever to be the catalyst for change and advancement of the entire human-family. You must be our equal partner in finding the solutions to our community, national and global problems.
Nothing is inevitable and everything is possible. Your voice, commitment and drive is needed to shape this century in preparing us to usher in a new century of dialogue and one that brings us one step closer to a culture of peace.
As society adapts to a faster pace of life made fascinating by changes in culture and technology - the social issues affecting youth continue to become increasingly complex.
Some of the critical issues that pose a significant threat to your development are: the circle of social participation and identity crisis, easy access to alcohol and drugs, peer pressure, aggressive media and brand consumerism, bullying and cyber bullying expressed through technology, sexting and the inappropriate use of social media, gangs and violence in schools, stress of producing good grades, and the lists goes on.
RBC remains committed to promoting a global culture of respect for diversity, social inclusion and non-violence.
And so, we challenge you, the 2013 Young Leaders to “Be the Change” by assuming the responsibility to influence the mindsets, attitudes and behaviours of your schoolmates and persons in your communities. Remember each and every one of us has the power to change the world and when our individual powers combine, we can become an unstoppable force.
We wish you good luck and eagerly await your submissions.