Leading the charge for youth impact and development…

“Under the leadership of Mr. Kenroy Roach, myself and the others would show up every Saturday at the hospital to volunteer and provide non-medical support to the nurses and doctors. The kind of support we provided included making the bed, helping out in the children’s ward, and taking blood pressure testing and every Saturday I would show up and do this religiously.”

By Rehanna Ramsay

Click here to see the original article –> Volunteer Youth Corps’ CEO, Goldie Scott, is a ‘Special Person’

Kaieteur News – When Goldie Scott was 15 years old, an encounter with a Minister of Government sparked her interest in volunteerism. That encounter changed the trajectory of Scott’s life and catapulted her into a role, which she now believes is her life’s calling.

Given her commitment to the work, this week’s ‘Special Person’, has risen through the ranks of the VYC – from a simple volunteer to the helm of the organisation in the space of just a few years. Her work has earned her several humanitarian awards and recognition from organisations and individuals serving their communities in similar capacities.
To date, Scott has successfully spearheaded close to 50 youth and community impact projects.Now, at the age of 41, she is an accomplished volunteer group director in that she has been instrumental in drafting winning project proposals for international and local donors such as the Japanese government, Global Fund Mini Grant/CVC Coin, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Japanese Government, the US Government, the Government of Guyana, Dutch Government, ExxonMobil, and other private sector entities.

In her capacity as a leader of VYC, Scott, along with her strong multi-disciplinary team of professionals which includes a Board of Directors, Chief Executive officer (CEO) Staff and volunteers, has rolled out a number of projects for youth management /leadership, as well as helped coordinate board membership and committees Terms of Reference (TORs) for the volunteer group.Her work at VYC encompasses reporting and general governance; implementation of constitution/by-laws and human resource management; monitoring and evaluation (quality assurance and quality improvement); budget development, financial management and providing oversight for funded projects.
Over the years, Scott has also been instrumental in report writing and impact analysis for submission to the VYC board and donors; planning and executing local as well as international fundraisers in Guyana, the United States and Canada.

Prior to this, she earned herself a Masters of Arts Degree in Applied Community Change and Conservation via a partial scholarship Programme from Future Generations University in West Virginia. She was among six locals who were selected for the humanitarian type programme which led to residential attachment in India, United States, Peru and Nepal, and was partly sponsored by Guyanese businessman, Stanley Ming.
Before venturing into her Masters of Art Programme, Scott earned herself a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Studies at the University Of Guyana, high school diplomas, from Alleyne’s High School and Charlestown Secondary School. Before that she attended St. Thomas More Primary School and West Ruimveldt Primary.

In her private capacity, Scott is a devoted single mother to her brilliant 11-year-old son and a firm believer in the principles of her Christian faith. She is a budding musician and a singer/worshipper.

FAMILY VALUES
She explained that while growing up, her parents O’Neil and Florence Scott made the necessary sacrifices to ensure that she and her three siblings had all that is required to lead a successful life. Education and faith were held in high regard in the Scott household as the parents strived to make ends meet. Scott recalled that due to her father’s job as a prison officer, the family moved around a lot.
“We went from Georgetown to Mazaruni, in Region Seven, we moved to the places as well wherever daddy’s job took him we went,” Scott said as she reminisced on some of her early childhood memories.
“As far back as I could remember, my dad was very attentive and devoted to us, I have two other sisters and a brother and my father would try to comb our hair and ensure that all needs were taken care of when my mother who was a secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture would travel to fulfill her work duties,” Scott stated.
Given that the family was on the move constantly, Scott said that she attended at least four nursery schools and three primary schools before she wrote Common Entrance and secured a place at Alleyne’s High School in the city.

By the time she reached the age of entering high school, her parents had already moved back to Georgetown. The family settled in West Ruimveldt where she finished her primary school education at the West Ruimveldt Primary. Scott subsequently entered the secondary school system where she quickly gravitated to the science stream.
“I always felt drawn to science and anything to do with my environment even when I was younger I enjoyed things like chemicals…so naturally, I thought I would have a career in the science field, possibly in medicine …” Scott stated.
She explained that she had finished school early and was looking to write some additional Caribbean Secondary Examinations Certificate (CSEC) subjects when she was given her first work/study experience. It was then that Scott said her idea for a career in medicine shifted a bit. Her first job attachment was to the administrative department at the Ministry of Health. The teenage Scott however found her administrative duties mundane.
“I actually hated the routine type of work…I didn’t feel satisfied. I wanted to get up and do something tangible and something that challenged me, but I didn’t know what that was at the time, “she explained.This, she said, served as a turning point in her life. She recalled that she was among nine other work/study studies who were invited to an engagement by the then Minister of Culture Youth and Sport, Gail Teixeira.

“We were all invited to the room, and I’ll never forget she gave such an inspiring speech about volunteering and giving back. She told us about her Canadian background and how much help the hospital needed. She spoke of the impact the work of the ‘Candy Stripers’, the hospital volunteer group that helped to provide support to the hospital staffers, had and she told us we can be doing the same thing …and so we formed ourselves in a group and started to volunteer and provide non-medical support to the Georgetown Public Hospital,” she said.
Scott explained that since she had planned to return to school to do some additional CSEC subjects, all of her volunteer work at the hospital was done on Saturdays.
It was around this time, Scott said that the group of work/study students that started the volunteer initiative at the hospital officially registered itself as a not-for-profit under the name Volunteer Youth Corps (VYC). The organisation bore the slogan “Caring for Humanity” and attracted a significant number of youth across schools to volunteer.
“So, we began to grow in numbers and as we developed, we became so much that we had to go in rotation teams to visit the hospital,” she said.

“Under the leadership of Mr. Kenroy Roach, myself and the others would show up every Saturday at the hospital to volunteer and provide non-medical support to the nurses and doctors. The kind of support we provided included making the bed, helping out in the children’s ward, and taking blood pressure testing and every Saturday I would show up and do this religiously,” recalled Scott.
A year later, Scott completed writing the additional CSEC subjects and secured a job attachment with the Georgetown Hospital. “I was attached to work in the hospital lab which made it easier for me to continue volunteering at the hospital on Saturdays,” she shared.
Around this time, Scott, not quite settled on what studies she wished to pursue, applied to pursue four programmes at the University of Guyana (UG). She eventually settled for a degree in environmental studies.
The VYC head recalled that the beginning of her studies were rough as her duties at the organisation were starting to increase. “I started out as the assistant secretary, and then I became the secretary and then the vice-chairman and later the acting chairman of VYC. I moved up the organisation’s ladder quite quickly because of the dedication I showed to the work we do here,” she noted, adding that by then the Volunteer Youth Corps Inc. had expanded from its initial nine members to at least 150 youth volunteers.
“The organisation had started to do more work outside the hospitals, under the excellent leadership of the Chairman and other executive members we initially did a lot of work that heavily focused on: assisting young people gain employment and get educational training, youth entrepreneurship. With the provision of training and access to financing, drug rehabilitation campaign, environmental and sustainable development initiatives, safe driving campaign, we did work spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS with funding support from USAID and PAHO,” she recalled. Scott used these activities to foster her growth in the organisation.

MENTORSHIP AND COMMITTEES
The VYC head noted that while many individuals who have significantly impacted her life as mentors. She has highlighted Mr. Kinray Roach – Present UNDP Regional advisor, founding member and former Chairman of Volunteer Youth Corps Inc., Ms. Hilda Cox-Bullen, former US Ambassador’s wife, and Janelle Christian – former Head of the Office of Climate Change, who were instrumental in guiding her style of leadership
In addition to the sound advice from her Board of Directors, Scott maintains that she would not be where she is if not for her dynamic and hardworking staff and volunteers with whom she’s worked with for the past 25 years as well as her partners.
Scott has also served on several committees for several.

SUCCESSFUL PROJECTS
Among the successful projects initiated by VYC is the USAID Community, Family and Youth Resilience (CFYR) from December 2018-2019; the workforce development programme, which facilitated the graduation of 79 youths following a nine-month technical and vocational skills training project and prepared them for the world of work. The training was done in partnership with the Government Technical Institute (GTI).
In 2014, the VYC head helped coordinate a month-long training in Washington DC on leadership and management for professional women and entrepreneurs across the world, which was sponsored by ExxonMobil.
In 2013, she participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) exchange, where she visited 60 development and US Government agencies within five states in a one-month training period to gain perspectives on methodologies used by community-based organisations and faith-based groups to intervene early before problem behaviours turn into delinquency and gang involvement.
According to Scott, one of the proudest career moments came when she was able to secure a $100M grant from the US Government for the Guyana Civil Society Leadership Project – a three years cooperative agreement with the US Government and VYC between the years 2015-2018.
That project allowed Scott to prepare a winning application, provide oversight and supervision to staff. The project sought to strengthen the network of 38 civil society organisations for greater impact and sustainability of the national HIV response through the development of resource mobilisation/business development plans, advocacy plan, and the legal formulation of the National Coordinating Coalition (NCC), which continues to function to this date.
Prior to this, Scott served as the project coordinator for VYC/EDC/USAID/SKYE project from 2012 to 2016. She helped to develop and review work breakdown schedules; recruitment and retention of project staff; coordinate the work readiness training of 520 individuals.
She also coordinated for VYC/UNDP/EPTSI project from 2010-2011 under the EPTSI project titled, ‘Youth and Women Empowerment for Peaceful change.’ Scott was responsible for managing staff and volunteers under the project and ensuring that the organisation was able to meet its deliverables as set out in the project proposal, which included training 250 high school and unemployed youths and single mothers in peace education, vocational skills (sewing, music, hydroponics and computer) and job placement.
As the supervisor for the VYC/Japanese Government project, she also coordinated the Infectious Disease Control project in Regions Five and Seven; worked with 174 volunteers to increase the awareness and knowledge in communities in the Regions’ populations about prevalent infectious diseases and treatment options.
Just recently, she secured grant assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects, coordinated and headed the renovation and expansion of the Volunteer Youth Corps Inc.’s D’Urban Backlands, Georgetown location under the grant assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project from the Government of Japan. The building was renovated and expanded from two to three stories up with an addition of nine classrooms, a lab, library, conference room, canteen/kitchen and washrooms.
Of note, the newly renovated facility helps facilitate classes for primary school students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. VYC provides free tutoring for the children ages 12 and under at the centre.
Under the auspices of Scott and her dedicated group of donors, board members and staffers, VYC also leads an annual Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programme (STEM) where over 5,000 students from various secondary schools across the coastland has been able to participate and benefit from lessons, robotics camps and conferences which helped them to understand the ever-expanding career opportunities and possibilities for those involved in the field.
Scott believes that this project especially provides an opportunity for the development of Guyana’s upcoming youth innovators and creators. “The conference which is hosted every year at the Princess Hotel gives the young people involved in STEM an insight of the types of career choices that they have once they leave school and venture into the world of employment. It’s our way of helping them build capacity and achieve their life-long dreams,” she said.

CEO of Volunteer Youth Corps Inc., Goldie Scott.
CEO of Volunteer Youth Corps Inc., Goldie Scott.
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Ms. Goldie Scott receives one of many humanitarian awards for her efforts.
The VYC CEO leads STEM Camps for youths annually; she is pictured here with a group of STEM Campers.
The VYC CEO leads STEM Camps for youths annually; she is pictured here with a group of STEM Campers.
Ms. Scott during a ceremony with former US Ambassador to Guyana, D. Brent Hart.
Ms. Scott during a ceremony with former US Ambassador to Guyana, D. Brent Hart.
Ms. Scott is flanked by officials from donor organisations and State representatives including Minister of Culture Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr., during the commissioning of the newly renovated VYC centre.
Ms. Scott is flanked by officials from donor organisations and State representatives including Minister of Culture Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr., during the commissioning of the newly renovated VYC centre.