More than $22,000 was given to public schools today as part of the Taking A Stand for Youth campaign.
The initiative was launched by the Mirrors Programme, a personal development scheme for young people that challenges participants to recognise and fulfill their potential.
A total of $22,394 was shared out to 27 schools, with cheques presented to pupils and staff by Wayne Scott, the Minister of Community, Culture and Sports.
Money was also given to Scars (Saving Children and Revealing Secrets), a charity that aims to reduce the risk of child sexual abuse and to be a voice for victims and their families.
The funding was half of $44,788 raised for the Taking A Stand for Youth campaign by Mirrors’ programme coordinator Kim Jackson, who challenged herself to run the Bermuda Day Half Marathon for the cause. The other half of the money went to Mirrors.
Efforts to raise the money were supported by the Mirrors Alumni and Friends Association charity.
Mr Scott praised Ms Jackson for “taking a stand” and living “boldly and courageously” to accomplish her goal.
“She demonstrated what is possible when one is committed to a vision,” he said. “Her spark in turn ignited a flame within the community whereby the Taking A Stand For Youth campaign raised $44,788 to support Mirrors programming and educational programmes.
“We are here to acknowledge and thank the community for their generosity.
“I wish to congratulate Kim Jackson for her dedication to the Mirrors Programme and the youth of Bermuda.”
Ms Jackson admitted training for the half-marathon was one of the most difficult things she had ever done.
“There were days I felt discouraged,” she said. “I wanted to back out but what kept me focused was my stand — it wasn’t about me.
“How could I stop when I ask our youth to push through their fears, frustrations and self-doubt? How could I ask them to push on when I wanted to quit?
“The sense of accomplishment was greater than running the race. The experience of perseverance, hard work, facing my fears … this is the same experience young people face when they participate in Mirrors.
“I want the youth to know that hard work, dedication and being open to support from others can support you in your goals.
“Decide what you want, make a commitment and then do the work. You can accomplish anything you set your mind to.”
As well as giving the cheques to the schools, Mr Scott also presented a Mirrors Leadership Award to 16-year-old Dejanèe Hill-Edwards.
The Berkeley Institute student is an alumni member of the recently completed Cohort 9 of the Mirrors Programme, and was chair and treasurer of the Executive Committee for the Community Service Project.
Ms Hill-Edwards, an S3 honour student at Berkeley Institute, is also studying full time at Bermuda College through the dual enrolment programme, and has represented the Island as a youth parliamentarian.
She also volunteers at the Bermuda Aquarium Marine and Zoo as a member of their junior volunteer programme.
“I’m very proud of her,” said her mother, Denise Hill.