can make a difference
a project of the Morris Marshall Foundation, I met Terrence
Caesar. What interests me about Terrence is that he is committed
to making a positive difference in his chosen area, which
is working with young people.
During the day, Terrence is a teacher at La Veronica RC School
in Lopinot. He has been a teacher for the past 16 years (including
being Teacher of the Year in 2007-2008) and before that he
was a police officer for five years.
Outside of work, however, Terrence is involved in scouting,
but not just as a leader. He also serves as deputy National
Scout Commissioner, responsible for planning and development.
He is involved in the youth group at his church in Tunapuna,
and serves on the board of the Eternal Light Community Vocational
School in Tunapuna.
The Eternal Light Community Vocational School is a non-profit
educational organisation whose mission is to provide
a holistic and well-rounded learning experience to its students.
In practice, this means that they work with children with
emotional or learning challenges that make mainstream schooling
Catering to approximately 100 students, the school was officially
opened in December, 2005, and offers courses including masonry,
plumbing, clothing design, music, home economics, craft, small
business management, screen printing, English, mathematics,
drama, computer literacy, woodwork, electronics, cosmetology,
art, literature, morals and ethics, machine shop, tiling,
welding and agriculture.
The school is working with the Ministry of Education towards
being officially recognised, and, therefore, being
able to benefit from more government support.
Kudos to the team at the Ministry of Education for encouraging
these types of projects.
Terrence believes the three biggest issues facing young people
today are a lack of respect by adults, a lack of guidance
and a lack of confidence.
As a result, we have young people who may appear to be normal,
but who are actually walking time bombs.
Most adults may have little idea of the struggles that many
of these young people face daily. Furthermore, whereas communities
once took collective responsibility for raising children,
this is no longer the case.
We spoke about teaching, and Terrence explained that he did
not believe in good teachers and bad teachers. Instead, there
were teachers and imposters, because true teaching was a calling
and a way of life.
It was not only about getting children to memorise facts.
In terms of crime, Terrence prefers to focus on what I
as an individual am doing, as opposed to only what the
Government may or may not be doing.
He firmly believes that our daily actions with children help
determine whether they will be the next bandits.
Terrence jokes that his motives are actually selfish, in that
he believes that by treating the children he meets well, they
would become the future adults who would help him, rather
than rob him, when he becomes a senior citizen.
What I like about Terrence is that despite the challenges
he sees in his work with young people, he is not a complainer.
He believes that each of us can make a difference if we choose
Terrence considers himself to be blessed with an ability to
interact with children. As such, it is his responsibility
to continue doing what he can for as long as he is able to.
In terms of Vision 2020, efforts like Terrences would
fall under developing innovative people and nurturing
a caring society.
A couple Fridays ago, I was talking to my good friend Daryl
about, among other things, Vision 2020.
In his typical diplomatic and sensitive way, he hinted that
to him, the document or the concept was too political.
I took some time to really reflect on his point. Perhaps,
he is right and many would probably agree with him. But my
other friend Anthony Clarkes position is that he has
yet to meet someone who has read the document and still disagrees
with the overall vision.
Regardless, there are some really admirable ideas in that
draft document especially the sections that support
integrated approaches to youth development as well as the
work of community-based organisations and non-governmental
It is important to support initiatives such as those Terrence
Caesar supports as we all move towards Vision 2020.