Eastern Credit Union hosts SEA motivational workshop

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Students from various primary schools participate in the Eastern Credit Union’s SEA Motivational Workshop held at La Joya Complex, St Joseph, on Friday. – Faith Ayoung

More than 2,000 standard-five students from schools across Trinidad benefited this week from a motivational workshop hosted by Eastern Credit Union (ECU).

The event, which is in its 25th year, was held at the La Joya Sporting complex indoor basketball court.

The five-day long event began on Monday with different schools in attendance each day.

ECU Deputy CEO Kester Lashley told Newsday the workshop was about recognising the stressful time facing the students in preparation for the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination and also helping them transition from primary school to secondary school.

“This is part of learning and is part of preparation for the exam. So this is just a period where they could come here, they could relax, they could be exposed to some motivational talk. Some people will speak from different backgrounds who might be psychologists, or working with youth at risk and really helping them in that transition from the primary school to the secondary school.”

Lashley said he felt ECU had a responsibility to the national community to host the workshop.

“It is important to give back to the community. This is an organisation that is comprised of members and these are either members or potential members. These children are the future and certainly at this organisation we will do all that we can to assist the youth in the society who could become members and be part owners of this organisation.”

Lashley added it was important as well that ECU also did its part in teaching children something not always taught in schools – the importance of financial literacy.

He said ECU has reactivated its outreach programme in which it partners with schools throughout the country to teach children about the importance of saving.

Michael Sennon and Dale Delicia, representatives of NGO, Vision on Mission, invites students to make contributions on the topic of bullying and its consequences at Eastern Credit Union’s SEA Motivational Workshop at La Joya Complex, St Joseph on Friday. – Faith Ayoung

“We have officers who go out to schools. They will talk to children about financial management and they may set up certain days where they will go to the schools to have children potentially sign up and also to collect the money.”

“It’s about saving and the importance of saving. So that is why we partner with a number of schools. We will go to their career fair. We’ll do different activities with them. We’ll have persons go to the schools and talk to the children about financial management. And it’s not a lecture, it’s conversing with them in a manner that they could understand.”

Lashley said the workshop was just part of one of the strategies at ECU in terms of encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation in youths.

St Patrick’s Newtown Girls RC teacher Michelle Rochford said she believed events of that nature were beneficial for students leaving primary school and about to enter secondary school.

“The environment in secondary school is different from primary school. And in addition to the workload that they are going to be experiencing, it’s good for them to get an idea of some of the things that they might encounter socially so they are able to kind of get accustomed to it or be aware of what they expect in advance.”

Having attended several of the workshops in recent years, Rochford said it helped to ease the tension that comes with children making that switch.

“SEA is a very stressful time for the students, and events like these can help them to get a hold of the anxiety, to let them understand it’s okay if you are nervous. It’s okay if you are afraid. But with some of these steps or some of the points that they are sharing with them, they would be able to overcome that fear and hopefully be successful in the exam.”

She said the issues addressed were very topical and the style of delivery from other young people helps in getting the message across.

“At that age, the hormones are starting to run and there are different choices, different circumstances that come about and we want to make sure that they are prepared for that. The more we talk to them, the better, because now so many of them are on social media.

“It’s good for them to get the advice from persons who are sound and persons who may have experienced it before rather than them learning on their own.”

Lashley said the workshop would continue in Tobago on Monday.