St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda: Director of the Youth and Education Empowerment Programme at the Department of Youth Affairs of Antigua and Barbuda, Troy Allen, has shared an update regarding the Department of Youth Education and Empowerment Program (YEEP).
“On 22nd February 2016, I introduced one of the most important social programs that this country has seen since 1981! YEEP Learning Centre became a reality in the twin island state! Thousands were hungry for a Second Chance at their education,” he noted through social media.
Allen further claimed that this initiative was the brainchild of Samantha Marshall, who was the substantive minister, who embraced the idea and supported me every step of the way. The initiative was then presented to Cabinet for their approval! The entire Cabinet, especially PM Gaston Browne, was pleased and provided the necessary tools for the successful implementation of this program. This initiative should have started with only 50 persons as a pilot project but was forced to accept 175 individuals instead.
Samantha Marshall and Gaston Browne accepted the challenge and once again provided the necessary support. Over 7000 individuals have benefited in one way or another from this vision.
“I vividly recalled the moments when individuals said that I was too ambitious. Many of them indicated that I would fail within the first year! Others gave me two and three years. They said that my passion would die. Many even said that the prime minister would regret allowing me to head the initiative. A few even said, “If those who are highly educated could not sustain this, how can Troy Allen do so” Yes, I cried because almost everyone was for the idea but did not believe that I could deliver,” he added.
Allen also commented, “We are now into our 8th year, and I have delivered! In 2020, CXC reported that YEEP Learning Centre produced the most outstanding Accounts student in Antigua and Barbuda! We outperformed the top schools in the state. When the other institutions took 3 years, along with SBAs, to prepare for the exam, YEEP took 1.5 years with no SBA grades, and we still outperformed everyone. Almost every year, we get distinctions in almost every subject, both CSEC and CAPE. Our average pass rate is 72 percent. Bear in mind that many of our students never wrote CXC before. This is a commendable achievement.”
Troy Allen also outlined that “on 22nd March 2023, the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda approved the establishment of YEEP not only as a learning centre but a full fledge department. This is a result of our commitment and hard work! We are now the Department of YEEP. We are now standing on our own two legs! When God says yes, no one can say no. The dedication and commitment of our tutors are unmatched anywhere in Antigua and Barbuda. Yes, leadership matters.”
According to his post, as a full department, the public can look forward to new initiatives that will benefit every sector of our economy. Both young, middle age and the elderly will benefit from these programs.
“We recognized, however, there are a few individuals who are still trying to delay the inevitable. With the full support of Samantha Marshall, Gaston Browne and the entire Cabinet, the Department of YEEP will continue to deliver with distinction. Long live the Department of YEEP. Long live Gaston Browne. Long live the government of Antigua and Barbuda. Remember, you are never too old to learn. My passion for YEEP will never die,” he concluded.