The Belmont East electoral district has historically been aligned to the People’s National Movement (PNM).
But it is not a fact Nicole Young takes for granted as she seeks to keep the area in the PNM’s fold after the July 16 local government by-election.
If anything, she has redoubled her efforts through walkabouts and other activities in the community to get a sense, first hand, of the issues plaguing the community.
“We are working hard to let the residents of Belmont East know they have a caring PNM candidate – one who is truly passionate about her community,” Young told Sunday Newsday.
“We have been on the ground daily, listening to and taking note of the issues affecting people.”
A guidance counsellor at the Ministry of Education, Young has enjoyed a long history in social work and volunteerism.
“So given this foundation, I decided to take this opportunity to serve in an official capacity.”
During her walkabouts in Belmont East, Young said the area could benefit from a more efficient water supply as well as repairs and upgrades to its local drainage system.
She said the area also needed an improved dumping and garbage collection system.
Young said she was especially interested in youth development and providing a more stable environment particularly in the area of job creation.
“I want to be a strong advocate for the people of Belmont East. I want the collective needs of the people to always be considered during the decision-making process of the corporation.”
The Boissiere Lane, Belmont, resident is acutely aware of the frustrations residents experience in seeking to access services from State entities. However, she stressed it was important to persevere.
“As a councillor, you have to forge strong relationships with key stakeholders such as WASA, CEPEP and TTEC. It’s an ongoing process and you have to be relentless but it can be done.”
Regarding employment, she said the issue can be examined from two angles: employability and attempts to create stronger ties with potential private and public employers to empower young people.
Young said, as part of her vision, she intends to push for a permanent professional hub within Belmont, which would link with current programmes to provide sustainable skills training ranging from sound engineering to auto mechanics.
She said young people deserved particular attention.
“We must combat this breakdown of the family and community structure and truly nurture and guide our young ones. The Prime Minister made a call for young people to serve their nation. I, like many young people, have answered his call and it’s a wonderful thing.”
A hopeful Young said new ideas and energies could be generated among young people.
“This is why youth development is at the very core of my vision for Belmont East.”
Young also expressed concern for some of the challenges confronting the country, notably the breakdown in family life.
However, she believes there is hope.
“While we, as a country, are faced with many social ills, I believe that by focusing on family regeneration, and youth development, we can take Belmont East to a state of mutual love and respect.”
Young at a glance
Attended Maryland RC School, St Joseph’s Convent, Port-of-Spain.
Attained Bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of West Indies, St Augustine.
Currently pursuing Master’s degree in counselling psychology.
Philosophy: “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance” - Eckhart Tolle.
Pet peeve: Negative and unwilling attitude. I believe that if a problem exists, you should at least be willing try. That way you can never fault yourself for not trying. And a positive and willing attitude always goes a long way.