PHILIPSBURG:--- On Friday, May 20, the St. Maarten Youth Brigade (SMYB) held its 9th Annual Promotional Ceremony at the Cyrus Wathey Square in Philipsburg. This is the first promotional ceremony for SMYB under the theme ‘Resilience, prospering in the face of adversity since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. His Excellency Governor Eugene B. Holiday, Prime Minister Silveria E. Jacobs, Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion, Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport drs. Rodolphe Samuel, Members of Parliament, Dutch Representative Chris Johnson, members of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps stationed in St. Maarten, family members, and friends were among those present at the ceremony.
The ceremony began with the brigadiers marching towards the Cyrus Wathey Square and coming to a standstill at the beginning of the ceremony which saw just over 30 young brigadiers being promoted in rank. After a rendition of the St. Maarten Song by local artist Tamilia Chance, addresses followed by Prime Minister Jacobs, Minister Richardson, Minister Samuel, and SMYB Founder Zulayka Peterson.
During her address at the event, Prime Minister Jacobs stated, “I want to commend St. Maarten Youth Brigade Founder Ms. Zulayka Peterson for her vision and for nine years of leading a hardworking team to positively impact and meet the needs of our youth. At the risk of sounding cliché, I must state that children are our future, but that depends on what we do today. We must give them the tools to be all they can be for themselves, their parents, and St. Maarten. Here you have a diverse skill base being taught that will benefit our nation, via our future leaders, law enforcement authority, teachers, and much more. This is why I also want to take the time to encourage the people of St. Maarten to continue their support, in whatever capacity for the St. Maarten Youth Bridge.”
“On behalf of the Government of St. Maarten, I commend the Board and Management team of the St. Maarten Youth Brigade. This organization continues to be a benefit to our community in supporting the development of our youth. As such, the government will continue to create an environment where this organization and organizations of its kind can continue to promote excellence and achievement among our youth. Congratulations to the St. Maarten Youth Brigade Class of 2022-2023,” concluded Prime Minister Jacobs.