||Last Updated: Feb 7, 2018 - 1:34:41 PM
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Michael Pintard with education stakeholders, and most of the more than 50 students who made Honour Roll during summer and fall semesters 2017 – at the D.W. Davis Junior High School Honours Assembly, February 5, 2018. Pictured seated (from left): District Education Officer Franklin Lightbourne, Principal Nicolette Brown, Minister Pintard, and District Superintendent Dorothy Anderson. (BIS Photo/Eric Rose)
NASSAU, The Bahamas – While speaking at the D.W. Davis Junior High School Honours Assembly on Monday, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Michael Pintard told the more than 50 Honour Roll students recognized that they were more than just the future leaders of The Bahamas: they were the leaders of today.
“The truth of the matter is that a student in grade seven through nine standing where I am standing, saying anything similar to what I am saying, has more influence on your peers than I ever could,” Minister Pintard said. “You are influential right now.
“Every day, the things that you do and say are influencing your peers; and, so, I would like to say to all of you that leading is a choice that you must make.”
Among those taking part in the special assembly were Chairman of the Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation (AMMC) and Member of Parliament Reece Chipman, District Superintendent Dorothy Anderson, District Education Officer Franklin Lightbourne and Principal Nicolette Brown.
Minister Pintard pointed out to the honourees that they were being recognized because they had done ‘something remarkable’: “The truth of the matter is that you are setting the standard; and we are asking you not to rest on your laurels. We are asking you to set new goals – to take us, your family, your community, to new heights.”
Minister Pintard said that those present were proud of them and of all that they had accomplished. To the students who did not make the Honour Roll, he encouraged them by reminding them that where they started out was not as important as where they end up.
“So, we are asking you to redouble your efforts,” he said.
Minister Pintard noted that it is better to start on a path of achievement in grade seven than try to figure it out in grade 11 and 12.
He added that, although ninth-grade students might “run things” at their current school, the next step would be to enter senior high school and be the “new kids on the block”.
“All of you must take with you the principals learned, the lessons learned, the discipline learned in this environment and to make sure that the 'royalty' that you are today – you continue to demonstrate that in high school, university, wherever life may take you,” Minister Pintard said.
Minister Pintard said that all those present want honourees to be pacesetters and he gave them a few anecdotal points of advice, including setting their standards high and pursuing them with vigor and discipline.
He pointed out that, even though it is great to dream, it will only remain a dream until one begins to attach a timetable to it, making it into a goal.
“In every aspect of your life, it is important to set high goals,” Minister Pintard said.
He noted that they are guaranteed to miss 100 per cent of the goals they do not set.
Minister Pintard told the students that it was important to have the right set of persons in their lives as their network.
“If you are not surrounded by the right set of people, if you are not sharing those dreams, your imagination, with the right set of people, you will find that much of the dreams you have will be strangled and they will die on the vine,” Minister Pintard suggested. “It is important to have the right crowd.”
Minister Pintard also spoke on the importance of having high standards, pointing out what position they might obtain in life is not as important as how they behave in that position.
He noted to the students present that education gives them options and choices for the their future.
“Every time you are discouraged or you are not interested in studying what is placed before you, remember you are limiting your options,” Minister Pintard said. “You are limiting your choices; so it is important to learn all you can – while you can – because it is going to open up options to you.”
Minister Pintard pointed out that, even though being academically smart is important, be smart in their morals was even more important.
“What we are saying to you is that we are proud of your accomplishments, we want you to continue to do well; but we are also saying to you that, in much the same way you are brilliant in academics, we want you to be brilliant in all areas of your life,” he said.
Minister Pintard said that the source of his strength and their strength is God and stated that every bad decision he had ever made in his life was when he “walked from under the covering of salvation.”
“When I thought I was smart enough to run things in my life, that was when my mistakes started to pile up – when I felt that maybe academics would help me solve a problem -- that was truly a problem that needed God's intervention.”
“The message I want to leave with you is in all the things that you get, take seriously the prayers that you pray in assembly and in class, and recognize that the source of your strength, ultimately, is God,” he said.
Minister Pintard encouraged the male students to rise up and make a difference at their school, in the homes and community.
“You could be world changers,” he stated. “You have the ability to be the difference-maker.”
To the female students, he noted that they have shown that they are already showing their leadership abilities and will continue to rise up. However, he cautioned them to not let a relationship with a person without a vision for their own life or goals for their family rob them of the “beautiful future they have inside of them”.
“Decide that you are going to continue to demonstrate that God has given you gifts and you are going to manifest them in what you do every day – in school, in university, in the jobs that you will get,” he said.
“We are proud of you, we love you, and it's been an honour to talk to you and God bless you.”
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