As the Police, through community relations initiatives, continue to work to reduce youth inactivity and crime, 71 students are now certified in technical areas by the Leonora Technical and Vocational Skill Training Centre.This year’s batch received certificates in a number of areas, namely: data operations, general office administration, motor vehicle works, carpentry, electrical installation, welding and fabrication, metal work engineering and Information Technology.At the award ceremony at the Vocational Centre on Tuesday, acting Police Commissioner David Ramnarine praised the students for their outstanding achievements, cautioning that a lack of reading and reasoning skills has contributed to an uptick in crime.He posited that one’s youth was the prime period during which one should capitalise on opportunities.“If you can’t make the best of your opportunity and make the best of your youth, you will simply pass through life [as] a basin of water,” the acting Police Commissioner expressed.He also appealed to parents, stating that they have “every responsibility” to ensure that their children attain an adequate education.In his closing remarks, Ramnarine told the students that they should embrace a “positive attitude” in moving to their future paths.“To become someone, that one in a million; to stand out [and] be a good example in your community, to your family and the country, you have to have a positive attitude… you will be on the path of becoming a better person [in] equipping yourself to make a better contribution [to society],” the Acting Commissioner encouraged.Meanwhile, Commander Stephen Mansell, who initiated the technical and vocational programme in the region, noted that it was part of the Community Relations Programme that enlisted requisite stakeholders to reduce crime. These stakeholders include the Regional Democratic Council (RDC), the business community and members of the public.“Our intention is to transform Region Three through community relations,” he stated, and observed that Amerindian communities, like Bonasika, and others should continue to benefit from the initiatives. Mansell also expressed the view that the work of the Leonora institute has aided in reducing the number of youth “hanging out on the street”.Principal of the Training Centre, Eon Nickelson, posited that the programme, which started in 2015, was established to give youths in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) the necessary training to “add to Guyana”. Although the number of graduates this year declined from last year’s figure of 94 to 71, the Principal pointed that enrolment for the next academic year was encouraging.This year’s outstanding students included Rannie Martin in the motor vehicle works programme, Tyrese Trats in carpentry and Kerry Sookra in welding and fabrication. Annette Sumbir was adjudged Best Graduating Student, as well as Best Performing Metal Work Engineering Student.The centre caters to students in the Region Three area, and the programme is collaboration between the Education Ministry and Guyana Police Force D Division (West Demerara-East Bank Essequibo). This year’s graduating class ranged from ages 16-21. Additionally, mature students also enrolled in some programmes.