Educate the youth so they’re proud to stay in Ja – US ambassador
The Usain Bolt-inspired US Ambassador to Jamaica, Donald Tapia.
Recently-appointed United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Donald Tapia, has made a plea for the relevant Jamaican authorities to educate the island’s youth to help stem the local brain drain.
Tapia, who took up duties in Jamaica in September, said the US will assist through the already established ties that both countries share.
Speaking at his official welcoming reception at AC Mariott Hotel in St Andrew on Thursday, Tapia also urged Jamaicans living in the Diaspora to return to the island and help with the growth and development of the country.
“My time here (so far), I have strengthened my true belief that the most prized asset that you have is your youth, your children, the education you need to give them in order for them to grow.
“In order to reach their full potential, youth need access to education. Through education, we teach our children to realise their dreams, and believe me, a child without dreams is a child who will fail.
“One of the things that we need to do is instilling in our youth (that) the dreams they have is like a star. Look at the sky and you will see that star, and that star is you, and you are the only ones who can reach them. So have faith in yourself and you can succeed.
“The brain drain of Jamaica is our future. We must stop it. We will make these children when we educate them, to stay here to build their country. This is their country, and we have got to make sure that they know the pride of their country. They will stay here if we can instil that in them,” Tapia said.
According to him, there are 1.1 million Jamaicans living in the New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania areas of the US, who must be encouraged to return and live in Jamaica.
“We need to attract them to come back home and build their future from here, and to grow their wealth and their knowledge here. This is something that I am really strong on,” Tapia said.
The ambassador said Jamaica should also work on bringing down the cost of electricity, which will not only help locals, but will also open opportunities for the island by attracting more investment.