Time to CARE: Antonette Dennis Elected NSSC President

Date Published: 
Monday, May 15, 2017

Currently a sixth form student at deCarteret College in Manchester, Antonette Dennis was elected on May 5, 2017 as the President of the National Secondary Students' Council (NSSC) for the 2017-2018 academic year. Miss Dennis will officially take office in September 2017. 

Antonette Dennis deCarteret College NSSC President
Antonette Dennis, NSSC 2017-2018 President-elect

As a students' councillor for the past four years, Antonette is no stranger to the NSSC. In 2014, she was co-opted to serve on the Region Five executive body. The following year, Antonette was elected to the position of Assistant Vice President. Having served well in that post, the Portland native was subsequently elected in 2016 as Vice President for Region Five. When she takes office as National President, Antonette will become the first person to serve on the NSSC executive for four consecutive years.

Her journey as a students' councillor started at Bishop Gibson High School for Girls. There, she served as a mentor to first form students and assisted in revamping the Purple Pride Programe which catered to the personal and social development of the young ladies at the school. 

Antonette notes that her favorite quote is from John Maxwell: Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another. She became attracted to the students' council as the movement provided an opportunity to positively influence others.

"I saw the council as an avenue through which I could enhance the secondary school experience for my peers by speaking out about issues they face and recommending solutions to alleviate them. It gave me the opportunity to grow as a young woman and to make a positive impact in the lives of students" explains Antonette.

As she prepares to take on the task of NSSC President, Antonette believes that her charisma, perseverance, active listening sklls and pragmatic nature will enable her to effectively lead the NSSC. Among the issues that will gain priority attention from her administration are the current policies governing suspensions and the need to articulate more rehabilitative and/or restorative ways to discipline students.

Antonette expresses that she will seek to build partnerships with key education stakeholders, while strengthening existing partnerships to make more financial,social and educational opportunities available to Jamaica's secondary school students.

 

President-elect Antonette Dennis interacting with students at the NSSC Region One Elections on May 5, 2017

 

According to Antonette, "The vision of the NSSC this upcoming year  will focus on the utilization of the C.A.R.E Method: Communication and Cohesion, Accountability, Revenue and Enquiry and Empowerment".

"I developed this method as it not only represents the areas that the executive will focus on but symbolizes the genuine care I’ve developed over the years for the students of Jamaica and the need for meaningful advocacy. I have heard the students’ cry for a more cohesive relationship amongst schools and the need for a more hands-on approach from the National executive. At the end of my tenure, I intend to achieve such and to aid in fostering greater inclusivity with local councils, the NSSC and other stakeholders", explained the aspiring Attorney-at-Law and Youth Development Specialist.

While noting that the journey ahead is not an easy one, Antonette believes that the task will be easier if all students strive to positively influence the lives of others. She urges her peers to keep up to date with current affairs and take greater interest in national and global matters that will affect students and the wider community.

The NSSC President-elect called on all students to get on board with the C.A.R.E. agenda.

"I understand the great responsibility that I have been given and so I encourage you all to play your part by not being silent about the problems you face in your various spheres and where possible, make recommendations that you believe will mitigate them."