#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2023 – The Department of Youth Affairs is pleased to announce the 2022-2024 CARICOM Youth Ambassadors, Ms. Arielle Neely and Mr. Andy Missick. Both candidates bring years of experience as youth trailblazers in TCI.
Ms. Neely is no stranger to representing youth in Turks and Caicos and regionally. She recently attended the International AIDS Society Conference (2022) where she engaged in discourse around HIV/AIDS and its relations to Mental Health and aging.
Ms. Neely hosted a class on Youth Sexual Education for 30 high school students with the AOL Foundation. Additionally, she is also an active member of the National Youth Parliament.
These platforms display her passion and enthusiasm for public speaking and Youth Advocacy. Ms. Neely holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education Studies (Honours) from Hull University, UK.
She intends to help establish a more effective channel of communication between TCI Youth and Government representatives throughout her term as Youth Ambassador. Her main goal as a Youth Ambassador will be to provide young people with the chance to attend financial literacy workshops and acquire the skills they need to succeed in entrepreneurial endeavors. Ms. Neely will give initiatives for Youth Health great priority. By collaborating with relevant organizations and agencies, she will place emphasis on implementing Youth Mental Health and Youth Sexual Education Programs. Ms. Neely is currently employed with the Turks and Caicos Islands Government within the Employment Services Department.
Mr. Andy Missick started his journey in youth work as a member of the Rotaract Club whose motto is “service above self”. In addition, he is an active member of Youth Parliament. He currently conducts Youth Mentorship Programs at both the Clement Howell High School and Louise Garland Thomas High School where he speaks to the students on having self-esteem and self-worth, making positive decisions and handling conflict. During his tenure as Youth Ambassador, Mr. Missick goal is to establish a National Mentorship Program in high schools across the TCI in order for Youth to receive guidance and support from successful and respected members of society. He also plans to develop Youth Leadership Seminars as a Youth Ambassador, to provide young people with the tools they need to set and achieve goals, develop positive life skills, and make the transition into adulthood.
Furthermore, one of his responsibilities during his tenure will be to convince Youth Organizations in the community to hold recruitment drives in an effort to draw young people to join in order to perform wholesome community service and take part in a healthy networking environment. Mr. Missick holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from the TCI Community College and is currently employed within the Department of Social Services.
Hon Rachel Taylor, Ministers with Responsivity for Youth Affairs commented, “I want to congratulate both Ms. Neely and Mr. Missick for taking on such a grandiose responsibility of being the voice of our Youth in the TCI. It is important to engage the Youth population on decisions that affect them, whilst empowering the young people to identify and respond to community needs that make them more empathic, while making them equal partners in national development and decision-making processes.”
The Youth Ambassador will work closely with the Department of Youth Affairs in achieving the National Youth Policy and focusing on Positive Youth Development Competencies which includes: building confidence, connection, character and empathy. The Department of Youth Affairs encourages our Youth to join the team of Youth Ambassadors for the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The Director of Youth Affairs Mrs. Jasmine Thomas in her comment on the appointment stated, “The National Youth Ambassador Program gives Youth an opportunity to engage in Positive Youth Development by empowering young people to participate and bring to the forefront Social Issues that are affecting them, as well as to provide links between Government Organizations and Youth Organizations. More importantly, Youth Ambassadors undertake peer education, raise awareness and strategically develop a plan of action for youth issues within the community. Without a doubt I know both candidates will be successful in their roles and I look forward to seeing their projects come to fruition.”
National Youth Ambassadors are a part of the Regional Network of young Caribbean Nationals mandated by Heads of Governments to advocate for and educate young people about regional priorities and social issues facing the economy. They perform a dual role, addressing youth issues at the national level within a regional strategic framework, as well as bringing national issues to the attention of the Region’s Policymakers.
The Programme is coordinated by the Department responsible for Youth Affairs at the national level; and facilitated at the regional level through multiple networking and collaborative relationships with stakeholders such as CARICOM and the Commonwealth Secretariat.