UCCI graduates Men of Standard

| 20/11/2015
Cayman News Service

(L-R) UCCI President Roy Bodden with Men of Standard graduates Dwayne Dixon, Hugh Small, Shardon Nelson, Charles Lewinson and Karifia Ross (Missing from photo: Taj-Djuet Berry and Kamaal Conolly)

(CNS): Seven young men have completed the Men of Standard programme, a unique, six-credit elective offered at the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) and endorsed by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.

Established in 2010 and coordinated by UCCI President Roy Bodden, the programme relies on a cadre of eminent persons from the community to deliver a special series of seminars that tackle important issues such as deportment, decorum, self-esteem, choosing role models, conflict resolution, interpersonal relations, sexual health, career choice, civics and citizenship, and manhood.

“The objective of the Men of Standard programme is to produce young men who distinguish themselves by right conduct, deportment, dress, and civic responsibility, to name a few qualities,” Bodden said.

Over the course of two semesters, the young men are taught an uplifting message of character development.  “We can acquire a good character. All that is necessary is for us to work hard and demonstrate commitment,” he added.

“It is as a result of my belief that the University College must be the vitality of Caymanian society, that I designed such a programme. That confession notwithstanding, however, the credit must go to the cohorts of young men who desire to be Men of Standard.”

Each graduate came up to the podium to address those attending the ceremony, held Saturday, 14 November. Karifia Ross said he cherished the session led by Edward Solomon, owner of Arabus Boutique. Dwayne Dixon said the programme has inspired him to be a better father. He added that he would proudly display the Men of Standard certificate in his office.

Hugh Small, recipient of the 2015 Board of Governors award, said he entered the programme as a cub and emerged a lion. Student Representative Council president Charles Lewinson paid tribute to his most influential mentors (his father and Bodden) who taught him humility and hard work. The last to speak was Shardon Nelson, who challenged his fellow graduates to use what they have learned and keep on the right path.

Two of the graduates, Taj-Djuet Berry and Kamaal Conolly, were unable to attend the ceremony but were also recognised.

Minister of Education Tara Rivers commended the men on their achievement and expressed appreciation to Bodden and UCCI for offering the programme, which helps to shape young Caymanian men into responsible fathers and productive citizens.

Education Councillor Winston Connolly touched upon the importance of programmes that orient young men away from the path of gangs and violence and towards doing the “right thing as human beings”.

Bodden added that recognition and appreciation must go to those persons who volunteer as presenters for the modules. “The ultimate success of this programme centres around their service and I sincerely publicly acknowledge their participation,” he said.

The Men of Standard programme will welcome a new cohort in January 2016, with online registration for the spring semester beginning Friday, 20 November.

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Category: Education

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