Students who are part of the Do Di Rait Ting program were awarded at the national awards ceremony this morning in Belize City. Corporal Jason Jones, program coordinator for the program explains the objective of the program and how students have benefited.
Belize City. Corporal Jason Jones, program coordinator: Do di rait thing is community based program where we the Police Department award students for doing the right thing and that could mean success story from life turn around, changes from school, doing something good, doing something heroic at school and then we award them for that. We feel that we have to recognize students for doing something good, often times we have students go through some amazing struggles and they go to school every day and they excel in school and no body recognizes them for that so through this program we want to recognize students for that for doing the right thing
Dalilah Ical: Why was this particularly important to the department?
Belize City. Corporal Jason Jones, program coordinator: Again we are trying to bridge the gap between the police and the community and by giving back to the community that is one way we could bridge the gap and by rewarding students. That’s one less child we have to worry about if we can provide them with a scholarship or something that’s one less child we have to worry about.
Dalilah Ical: Is there a way that you can monitor follow up on these student as to how they are doing now?
Belize City. Corporal Jason Jones, program coordinator: We definitely do follow up, Community policing officers country wide do follow up, once we have monthly submission say for instance Corozal the community policing officers ensure that if they do follow up on that particular student to ensure that if they need any help with anything, probably if they need help with school or something then we will be able to assist in some way.Fourteen year old Sonia Gutierrez of Belize City and 23 year old Luis Escobar of Corozal topped the group this year. Gutierrez told the media today that she entered the program after being encouraged by a counselor; meanwhile Escobar, in his spirit of perseverance, encouraged others to push forward no matter the challenges.
Fourteen year old Sonia Gutierrez of Belize City: Everything just began since I was about five when we were living around MJ’s. MJ’s got burned down so we ended up at child care for a couple months then from there my father came and he took me to PG. I faced some couple of things down there, came down back here and I started to have problems with my family and difficulties but along the way I still didn’t let that; my problems, my family issues get in the way of my education. I still came in top my primary school, became the valedictorian of my primary school so continue Highschool E.P. Yorke and I thought E. P. Yorke would be the school to challenge me and its was so I topped E.P. Yorke in my class in first form and second form and here I am today.
Dalila Ical: Can you talk to us about what this program has done for you, how it has impacted your life?
Fourteen year old Sonia Gutierrez of Belize City: Right now it has been a really huge help to go back to school right now again when August start, the computer will be a big help.
23 year old Luis Escobar of Corozal: I come from a humble family and started high school in 2010-2012. I drop out from schools since 2012 to be exact. I stop school for five years, during those five years I was out of school I was struggling about life. I was getting aware of what is life out there and then I notice is that it strong and difficult to be out there without a studies so I started to like find something to do for me. I started as a barber shop, also I started as tattooing and then I started doing volunteer work in hospital with Ministry of Health., showing youths that it is never too late to get back to school, preventing about HIV and stuff like that about everything that was happening Belize. After the five years I decided to get back to high school now to finish my fourth form and then what I can say is that to be someone in life you have to have the initiative , it doesn’t matter what struggles you go through in life, you have to have the initiative to become someone in life so I thank the lord that I am here representing from the Technical from Corozal and I could be an example to the society and the whole country of Belize that it is never too late to continue you studies.
The program was launched in 2005. Over the past three years there have been over 250 monthly submissions from students so far. This morning the students received a mug while the top eleven winners each received a tablet. The top two performers received a laptop courtesy of the business community.