Police Rewards Students for Doing the Right Thing Print E-mail
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Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 12 July 2012 00:00

Do the Right Thing Class of 2012The Belize Police Department held its 7th annual Do the Right Thing Awards ceremony at the Old Belize Restaurant on Wednesday, July 11. The program started in 2006 after then Commissioner of Police Gerald Westby returned from the United States. While in the United States, he learnt of the success that the program had in inner cities there. Therefore, Commissioner Westby tasked the Community Policing Unit with the responsibility of establishing the program nationally in Belize. This year 29 students from across the country were selected as model students for the rest of their peers.

Ken Gabb of Gwen Lizarraga High School had the most remarkable story of 2012 and received 1st place in the program. Gabb started his high school education at Nazarene High School. His father died at a very young age and he was raised by a single mother of 3 children. His mother also had to take in and care for his sick uncle. Young Ken Gabb struggled finding his identity as his mother’s attention had to be divided between his siblings, uncle and work. He went through a rebellious stretch that caused him to repeat first and second form at Nazarene High. Gabb then went on to Gwen Lizarraga High School where age maturation and faculty support helped him to turn his life around. He gives a lot of credit to Principal McKay, who challenged him to strive for the best. Gabb became an honor roll student and excelled in cycling as well. Gabb gives God the glory for the turnaround in his life. He said, “There were a lot of obstacles distracting and holding me back. But, I chose to try and walk the path of righteousness knowing that at the end of the road there would be a lot of rewards." Gabb received $3,000 and a laptop computer for being the top candidate of the Do the Right Thing Program. The prize is just one set of rewards awaiting him as he continues to walk the path of righteousness. He plans to travel abroad to study in a technical field.

Other students rounding off the top ten, are Steven Green of Georgetown Technical High School; Shakeem Guzman of St. Ignatius High School; Sheraine Martinez of Independence High School; Herlinda Garcia of Independence High School; Normandi Hernandez of Independence High School; Lily Aldana of Caye Caulker Ocean Academy; Azaria Miralda of Eden Seventh Day Adventist High School; Mercedes Requena of Caye Caulker Ocean Academy and; Brea Gentle of Gwen Lizarraga High School. They received prizes of $300 to $3,000.        

Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Defense, Col. George Lovell, said that the program demonstrates the proper way to solve crime. He said that the Do the Right Thing program brings together the security forces, business community and education sector in a united effort. He commended the sponsors for sticking with the program. Lovell said, “As I looked at the list of sponsors for the program over the last 7 years, I noticed that the same names are here once again.” He hopes that those corporations are examples for others. He challenged those others to step up and support other crime prevention initiatives that are being implemented by Restore Belize.

C.E.O. Lovell told the award recipients “Do not treat this as a final step but as the start of a journey to live a productive and proud life.” He asked them to be like a virus and infect other youths in their community so that they too can do the right thing.