Positive Youth in a time of Negativity

                                      Positive Youth in a time of Negativity

By Michael Headley
Xavier Marcus
January 03, proved to be a sunny but bitterly cold day, and I am not being oxymoronic.  It was the aftermath of  snow storm which had blanketed New York, and the Northeast United States, with several inches of  the white stuff.  To get some relief I decided to watch CBC TV 8 to see what was happening on Good Morning Barbados.  And I was pleasantly surprised to see the host, Doug Hoyte and hostess Kimberly Skeete interviewing  three young inspiring Bajans.
The first was Mr. Xavier Marcus who is enrolled in the Nursing and Football programs at Nicholls State University, located in Thibodaux  Louisiana.  It was founded in 1948.   Throughout the interview, I got the impression that Xavier is determined to succeed, both in his chosen Nursing profession and also the sport of American Football, despite their academic and physical challenges.   But Xavier doesn't only have the vision for himself, because he stated that he went back to Redman's Village and encouraged other youth to strive for similar goals.  He was honest enough to let his peers know that it is a grueling task and his schedule, is divided between the classroom and training.   He talked about the cultural changes and the adjustments that he had to make in order to fit in.  Although he was forced to substitute Crawfish for Flying fish he still misses his Grandmother's food.  And he has not forgotten the roles that Ms. Leacock's and St. James School, now the Sir Frederick Smith School, played in his life.  Xavier also stated that it was a pleasure to meet fellow Bajan, Ramon Harewood, who had won his Super Bowl ring with the Baltimore Ravens.  In his now ambassadorial role, Xavier shares his Bajan delicacies with his friends and he is planning on introducing them to his island.
The interview was fluid too because  Mr. Hoyte was very au fait with the American Football jargon and Ms. Skeete had expressed some interest. Even the traffic reporter, Sergeant Seibert Johnson, chimed in to compliment Xavier for flying the Bajan flag. 
The other two interviewees were an entrepreneur named Shinika Grimes and a Graphic Artist named Christopher Johnson-Branker.  With the support of a Doctor, they had combined their skills to draw a beautiful mural, depicting Caribbean life, in the pediatric department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).  This mural gave life to a the wall and it is already spurring curiosity  among the children and visitors alike. I was most impressed though when these two young people admitted that making money was not their ultimate goal, although with such skills that is imminent, but they derive satisfaction from perfecting their craft. That thinking is a rarity in this period of greed and it is good to have young people with such a positive and progressive mindset. 
These are very positive young people and although there is an economic pall hanging over Barbados, these youth, and others like them, with this work ethic, exude hope for the future, but they will need support.  I wish them success in the New Year.

Michael Headley is a social commentator.
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