Eastern Credit Union inspires SEA students

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Pastor Clive Dottin interacts with students from various primary schools during a motivational workshop hosted by Eastern Credit Union, La Joya Complex, St Joseph, on Friday. – Angelo Marcelle

Energy filled the Ed Garcia gymnasium at the La Joya Sporting Complex on the Eastern Main Road, St Joseph on Friday as 439 children from ten schools attended the Eastern Credit Union’s (ECU) Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) motivational workshop.

Deputy CEO Kenton Lashley told the children that they could be anything they wanted to be, as long as they put in the work.

Pastor Clive Dottin shared his story of growing up poor and the defining point in his life – seeing his mother crying. He also spoke of how he went from the brightest boy in the school to the worst following the death of his father.

He also shared success stories of people who had come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Dottin gave the children a number of motivational mantras to use when they felt discouraged about the upcoming exam.

“To be a success in life, you have to have to have a dream, and know what you want to be. You have 14 billion brain cells, 25 billion blood cells, you were meant to be a success. It’s not your geography, it’s your mentality.”

Some of the mantras he taught were, “You need the dream and the steam and the cream and the team and the team and the cream and the steam and the dream. The dream is the vision for your life, the steam is the power of God, the cream is the values you have, love, decency, commitment, and the team is God working on your side.

“Great choices made great memories, poor choices make poor memories. Failure is not the end of any situation, you can always pick yourself up and try again.”

He told the students to do their homework, pace themselves when studying, not to try to study everything the night before the examination, to go to sleep early on that night so they could wake up feeling strong and say a prayer before they take the test.

Derron Sandy and Mishael Lashley of the Two Cents Movement gave a lively and engaging interactive performance as two soldiers who were afraid of the examination, and who had to be taught how to use the tools the younger soldier’s mother had put in his backpack: a banana; an SEA Pennacool practice test, a bible, a cell phone with data, and a game controller.

They called on a child from each school to tell them how each item could help them with the examination, and most of the children were eager to volunteer.

ECU’s youth officers Kevin Small, Merise Ann Bejai, and Akile Suite gave the students a talk on the importance of saving and introduced them to the concept of budgeting, needs, and wants.

“A need is something you have to have to survive. A want is not a bad thing but it has to be planned for and saved for in advance. You can start doing this from this stage. If you get this down pat from now, it will help you for the rest of your lives.”