Youth central in Bastille Day commemorationsPOSTED: 07/16/12 11:52 AM
MARIGOT, St. Martin – This year’s Bastille Day celebrations, which was themed “Youth and Excellence”, placed heavy focus on young people. Some 40 percent of St. Martin’s population is under 25 and there are roughly 10, 000 young people in educational institutions
“The youth is at the heart of our preoccupation and even at the level of the President of the Republic François Hollande he made it clear that the youth is of national priority. The youth in the community are the greatest asset for the territory and because of their diversity, their talent and creativity and take their rightful place in their foundation of the society and the emergence of a new citizenship. Their participation in the recent elections stands as proof of desire to perform their role. In order for the youth to remain this great asset it is clear that their needs and general mobilization at all levels and without ruling out the family, associations, educational, religious houses and the involvement local and national organizations,” Richardson said.
The president of the Collectivité went on to announce that the government is ensuring that all of the government’s efforts to restore the financial situation of the Collectivité “in terms of finances and budgetary means are guided by and a response to obligations towards to our youth.” Richardson also saluted the youth for remaining positive, for being engaged in their studies and with the civil society and for bringing pride to their island.
Richardson also told young people who have either started to lose hope, who have dropped out of school, who are unemployed and excluded or who have fallen victim to “easy solutions” like drugs delinquency and gang violence that their place is in training centers or second chance programs and jobs that will be created soon through a partnership between the Collectivité and the national government.
“Keep hope alive and occupy your rightful place in society. The Bastille we are celebrating is the Bastille of excellence. Being average is not an option. Excellence must always be the target in all that is done,” Richardson said before congratulating the many young people that excelled in academics or sports. He also congratulated the three young people to France’s most prestigious school and another that has been accepted to the Military Medical School.