Richmond pupils off to U.S. for youth forum

2009-04-16 00:00

TWO pupils from Richmond Combined School are off to the United States today to participate in a youth leadership forum with pupils from 60 other countries.

Principal Andrew Ragavaloo said the visit is a big step considering that 92% of his pupils are from rural and disadvantaged backgrounds.

His grandson, grade 6 pupil Delandre Ragavaloo (11), and grade 8 pupil Nompilo Njiyela (13) were the successful candidates after a list of 21 names were submitted to People to People, a U.S.-based non-profit organisation that promotes international understanding and friendship through education, cultural and humanitarian activities.

Ragavaloo said the decision was based solely on the children’s scholastic merits, civic involvement and signs of leadership potential.

For two weeks the pupils will get a rare opportunity to explore some of the United States’ most inspiring monuments, meet a senator, take part in group discussions and experience first-hand how successful leaders develop winning strategies that foster change.

Leadership qualities in both these pupils were to be put to the test sooner rather than later when they had to come up with ideas to raise money for the trip, a test Ragavaloo said was well passed.

“We have to thank the business people and members of the public who really come forward with support.

“I think this is a unique opportunity to experience the education process in a different country and environment,” Ragavaloo said.

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