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USC student to be editor for the day

...SAGHS girl wins British High Commissioner role
Thursday, June 7, 2018
British High Commission’s political, press and public affairs officer Siddel Ramkissoon speaks with Sapphire Alexander of St Augustine Girls’ High School, the winner of the online competition to be the British High Commissioner for the day, at her school yesterday. PICTURE SHIRLEY BAHADUR

A third-year student of the University of the Southern Caribbean was yesterday adjudged the winner of the Guardian Editor of the Day initiative.

Abigail Frances Gittens, 20, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on Communications could not contain her joy and screams when told of the good news.

Equally excited was Sapphire Alexander, 15, a student of the St Augustine Girls’ High School, who won the title of British High Commissioner For a Day.

The initiative was a joint venture by Guardian Media and the British High Commission who invited young women on International Women’s Day-March 8 to post videos of themselves on social media, giving their views on why girls’ education is important and how education can empower them.

Gittens and Alexander will fill their roles as editor and high commissioner next month when school term comes to a close.

Having received several entries for the positions, Gittens and Alexander were selected as the overall winners last month.

Incidentally, both women see our country’s first female President Paula-Mae Weekes as their ideal role model.

The news was relayed to Gittens and Alexander in their classrooms by the commission’s political, press and public affairs officer Siddel Ramkissoon and a Guardian Media team.

Gittens plans to pursue a Masters in Mass Communications and Journalism in Jamaica after graduating.

“I thought Mr Ramkissoon came to the school to ask me a few questions about my video. I never expected CNC3 to take live footage of my reaction. I was honestly taken by surprise. I am so thrilled,” said an elated Gittens, who has aspirations of becoming a foreign correspondent journalist. She said being offered this role would serve as a great opportunity.

In her video, Gittens spoke about an African proverb, which states that when you educate a man you educate one person, but if you educate a woman you educate an entire family.

“But in T&T, our new President... she will educate our nation,” Gittens said.

Gittens said she was ready to take on the challenge of being an editor for the day, knowing fully well that the task will be daunting and time-consuming.

“Everyone knows I like a good challenge,” she said.

As a consumer of news, Gittens if she would like to see more success stories and articles on women being empowered and breaking the glass ceiling.

“There are so many women who do great work for the country and yet they are not recognised. Their life stories and accomplishments should serve as a beacon of hope for other young women in our country which the media should give a more prominence to,” Gittens said.

Alexander, a Form Four science student of St Augustine Girls’ High School, in her video presentation, stated that there are many disadvantages in not educating girls, which can range from domestic abuse, low-paying jobs to exploitation.

“We need to educate more women to fill positions in fields such as engineering and ICTs.”

While Alexander sees her mom, Sparkle Alexander, as her role model, she also viewed Weekes as a perfect exemplar who she would one day like to emulate.

“We have dreamed of having a female President for a long time and we have finally gotten someone with her knowledge and expertise. I think it is so inspiring to women like me, to show us, that we can achieve these things. We can go to these places that were formally dominated by males.”

Alexander said she was grateful for Weekes for bridging the gap in today’s society.


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