Future Leaders Bermuda

At The Argus Group, we are passionate about programmes focused on youth development, education, seniors and wellness. Last year, our 70th Anniversary grant initiative #OurFutureisYou revealed a wealth of ideas put forward by the community and we were overwhelmed by the quality of programmes dedicated to promoting a better quality of life in these areas.

Enter our 70th Anniversary Grant Winners Future Leaders Bermuda. What began in 2017 as a three-week summer social justice programme giving teenagers access to community service, academics, and guidance from leaders in the community, has grown into a full-fledged mentorship programme. We caught up with founder, Ryan Robinson Perinchief, to discuss their winning idea, the Monthly Mentorship Club, which will launch in September.

Future Leaders Bermuda

Monthly Mentorship Club

While COVID-19 delayed the kickoff, Future Leaders have not let a pandemic prevent them from creating the itineraries and key skills areas of the curriculum. The year-round programme is designed to foster collaboration, promote skills development and self-improvement, while building a sense of community among tomorrow’s leaders.

“We decided to postpone until we could guarantee in-person interaction,” Ryan said, adding that they are also exploring virtual or hybrid sessions to reduce group sizes.

“We couldn’t do it without Argus,” he said. “Having a $15,000 donation significantly expands what we’re able to deliver. I can’t stress enough the gratitude that we have as an organisation. Students are going through a lot through this pandemic. They were cut off from school and university and not being able to rely on their support groups as they normally would is a challenge. It was a blessing for us to end the year knowing that amidst all the uncertainty we are able to deliver something good.”

On Creating Community

Students who take part in the Monthly Mentorship Club will explore topics such as resume writing, stress and time management and public speaking. Each topic will be combined with a fun, team-building activity.

“With the aim to better equip Bermuda’s youth with essential life skills, enabling them to exhibit an improved sense of camaraderie, connectedness and embrace individual and collective changes within communities, the mentorship programme will introduce students to a range of disciplines and make use of mentors and experts within the community,” Ryan said.

“A lot of the material is based on what things that they identified – help for applying to university, understanding finance – this curriculum builds on that collaboration with the students, but also aligns with our objective to make sure they are critical thinkers.

“As we develop hard skills like financial management, we want to make sure we’re working on soft skills – navigating adulthood, growing up – being able to provide a space to not just deliver PowerPoint presentations but also have conversations and get to the heart of some their inner most feelings.”

On the History of Future Leaders

“I had always felt there was a need for young people in Bermuda to be more involved in community issues,” Ryan said of the flagship summer programme, which has seen 59 students pass through it, aged between 13 and 17. During the programme, students discuss college-level research, take part in community service, and meet with government ministers, NGO leaders or social entrepreneurs.

“A lot of the reasons why young people don’t engage is that they feel that their views are not welcome or they hold the belief that a lot of these things are happening to them without having any sense of agency. It’s about giving them the confidence to engage with these issues in a way that they were making things happen.”

The curriculum includes topics such as ‘Service and what makes a community’, ‘ ‘Leadership and self-determination’; and ‘Social justice and social entrepreneurship’ – and ends with ‘ ‘How to take action’. “These are topics that empower students to know they have a role to play in the community as change makers,” Ryan explained.

On Looking to the Future

“If we understand the conditions of our community, we can also understand ourselves. And if we understand both of those things then we’re empowered and inspired to actually make a difference.” Ryan said.

“What legacy do we want to leave? An empowered community. And empowered young people that can then invent their own future and drive forward a healthier community.

“I didn’t come up with the mentorship programme on my own. The students inspire me. It sounds corny, but they’ve taught me more than I can ever teach them.”

DISCLAIMER: The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.