22 students from the Cayman Islands Further Education Center graduated from the National Drug Council’s (NDC) Behavior Modification Intervention programme today (29 May.)
It’s a programme aimed at teaching young people about life outside of school and how the choices they make can affect the paths they walk on.
It is said there’s no better teacher than a life lesson and ex-convict and drug addict Donald Hooker used his lesson as an example of what not to do as he addressed CIFEC students.
“People get the concept that you know marijuana is legalized in certain places, they don’t understand that it is a gateway drug, so I’m here personally to tell them the mistakes I’ve made in my life,” said Master of Ceremony, Donald Hooker.
On Tuesday Mr. Hooker related how losing 24 years of his life in jail, changed his path and he said he does not want young Caymanians to walk the road he did.
“In my time going to school, we didn’t have the opportunity for no one to come to the school to share certain things because people didn’t have the understanding about addiction at that time, so luckily for them they have someone like me or I’m lucky for me to have the opportunity as well to come to the school and talk to them,” said Mr. Hooker.
He was speaking at the graduation ceremony for the National Drug Council’s Behavior Modification Intervention Programme. Participant Duran Parsons said Mr. Hooker’s message hit home.
“What they’ve lived through, they don’t want that for us, they don’t want that to happen to us, that’s why we’re here because like they’re trying to teach us, trying to show us because they care about us and our future,” said Mr. Parsons.
He said he took away a lot from the programme and is glad people from older generations come to share their knowledge.
“All of us teenagers came together and learned about what goes on in the society because a lot of stuff in the society interests me so I thought this was just something for me,” said Mr. Parsons.
The Behavior Modification Intervention Programme currently runs in 4 schools. But organizers said they are working on getting it in more schools in the new school year.