January 31, 2023

Cayman Islands Teen Panel airs students opinions on important issues

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GRAND CAYMAN (GIS) – Child Month 2018 Teen Panel gave eight high school students the chance to publicly voice their opinions on social issues concerning teens.

The panelists’ overriding sentiments were that adults in the Cayman Islands should listen more to the views of youth and nurture teens as they are the future of these islands.

Organised by the Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS), the panel held on Thursday, 10 May in George Town, Town Hall was moderated by Cayman Islands CARICOM Youth Ambassadors Camille Angel of the Youth Services Unit and Radio Cayman Reporter Andrel Harris.

DCFS Director Felicia Robinson opened the panel proceedings with a Welcome address. The Opening Prayer was given by the Chairperson of the Child Month Committee Genevieve Tomlinson.
The student panelists were Yesenia Ebanks (Layman E. Scott High School), Sarafina Mitchell (Cayman Academy), Reggiena Erespe (Triple C), Reon Porter (John Gray High School), Triniti Dixon (Cayman Islands Further Education Center), Caeleigh Roye (Clifton Hunter High School), Leah Robinson (John Gray High School) and Christopher Rivers (Layman E. Scott High School).

Split into two panels of four, students gave their responses to 14 questions posed by the moderators. These related to how they perceived teenager-adult relations in the Cayman Islands, and what their hopes were for youth in the future.

Since this year’s Child Month theme is “Rise Up and A.F.F.I.R.M”, panelists were first asked to explain what affirmation meant to them. The moderators also asked about the major issues that children here face and the common misconceptions adults had of children.

Their responses were clear and insightful. Panelists had not only thought through their opinions, they gave cogent reasons about why teens needed to be valued and listened to especially in decisions that affected them.

Teen Panel’s audience included high school students, parents and educators.

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