I am passionate aboutI am a social entrepreneur, a community activist and an exceptional youth
leader who has played an integral role in the development of the youth and
students’ movements in Saint Lucia and in the wider Caribbean. My work in
development has gained recognition by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll—where
on December 8th, 2015 I was selected to receive the prestigious Queen’s
Young Leader Award. I was also selected as a finalist for The Commonwealth
Youth Award for Excellence in Development and in 2014 the Government of Saint
Lucia recognized me as the most outstanding Youth of the Year for 2013.
I am the 2nd Vice President of the Saint Lucia National Youth Council and the
United Nations Development Programme Caribbean Youth Think Tank
Representative from Saint Lucia.
I have a deep rooted passion for community and youth development. Through my
work, I have demonstrated an appreciation for the United Nations Sustainable
Development Goals adopted in September 2015 to end poverty, extend the reach
of quality education and ensure prosperity for all. My work is geared towards
creating the space for young people to be agents of change and peace. This
can be seen through the establishment of The Mario Michel-NYC Education Fund
in September 2015 I spearheaded. The fund provides scholarships for
underprivileged youth; who have made a contribution to social development.
As highlighted during my presentation of the Youth Address at Saint Lucia's
37 Independence Rally- "The opportunity is ours to be the architect of our
nation’s wealth, not wealth through money, but through the prosperity of a
people.” I have lived by this quote and do what I can to change lives.
ActionsAs the 2nd Vice President of the Saint Lucia National Youth Council, I have
pioneered a number of national and community programmes targeted at youth in
Saint Lucia and across the Caribbean region.
With the support of a team of volunteers, I’ve been able to revive over 80%
of students’ councils around the island in over 20 secondary schools in
Saint Lucia. This is an outstanding achievement as it fosters a democratic
culture in schools and exposes students to governance and promote peace
building. Additionally, I’ve been able to implement an education fund to
support underprivileged youth who have made a contribution to social
development attain a tertiary level education.
In my community, the statistically poorest community in Saint Lucia, I was
the President of a community organization, ProjectCan. The organization has
trained youth in entrepreneurship and heritage tourism to be able to become
financially independent. The organization also worked with other partners and
created employment for one youth to work in the hospitality/tourism industry
in Saint Lucia.
Crime has become one of the main challenges threatening economies and
livelihoods in Caribbean countries, according to UNDP’s Caribbean Human
Development Report. In an effort to combat this daunting issue, in November
2015, I volunteered with the United Nations Development Programme Barbados
and the OECS Office to implement the regional SocialInnov4Change project in
Saint Lucia. I was primarily responsible for mobilizing youth to attend the
event and locally organize the logistics of the forum. The SocialInno4Change
project has trained over 70 youth in ideation and, formulation of novel
concepts relating to crime and violence prevention. At the end of the
training, 6 groups received $2,000USD grants to implement their innovative