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VI will be 'lost to crime' if Gov’t fails to create opportunities for youths- Curtis Callwood

US-based Virgin Islands (VI) fashion designer Curtis Callwood is calling on the Government of the territory to prioritise creating opportunities for local youths, whom he said are bursting with talent that must be preserved. Photo: Facebook/JTV
Appearing on the September 11, 2023, edition of JTV’s The Big Story with host Cathy O. Richards, Callw0od added that should opportunities not be created, the territory could be lost to crime. Photo: Facebook/JTV
Appearing on the September 11, 2023, edition of JTV’s The Big Story with host Cathy O. Richards, Callw0od added that should opportunities not be created, the territory could be lost to crime. Photo: Facebook/JTV
FISH BAY, Tortola, VI– Virgin Islands (VI) fashion designer Curtis Callwood is calling on the Government to prioritise creating opportunities for local youths, whom he said are bursting with talent.

Appearing on the September 11, 2023, edition of JTV’s The Big Story with host Cathy O. Richards, Callwood added that should opportunities not be created the territory could be lost to crime.

So much talent in VI - Callwood 

“For years I've been an advocate in explaining to government that we have so much talent here amongst our youth and if we don't do anything to preserve it, to create opportunities, we're going to lose the BVI to crime.”

Mr Callwood continued, “And sadly again I'm not here to cast judgment, to condemn anyone… I'm all about positivity and how we can all move forward collaboratively to make a difference in the lives of our people as well as that of a country,” he said.

'I held myself back'

The Virgin Islander acknowledged; however, that there may be instances where young Virgin Islanders are not living up to their potential, despite the opportunities available, because of low self-esteem.

Now a Florida-based fashion designer, Callwood said he has had a passion for fashion for many years but held back himself from reaching his full and true potential.

“I've had so many doors and windows of opportunities, whether it was by myself, through self-sabotage, because I never really had the confidence. I should say I projected it externally, but internally I was a mess for years,” he said.

“So it's like even after I left here and then went to university and then had the President of the university and all the Deans of Fashion and everyone trying to push me to do Project Runway and to do all these amazing experiences… I was talking this good talk for so many years, I had this passion, but… I've held myself back,” he said.

Forgive yourself & past- Callwood 

He added that in the past, he has dealt with insecurities including low self-esteem for years. “It's one thing when you get everyone who believes in you and tells you what you can do and you know that you want to do it, but when you get behind closed doors, I'm not good enough. I can't do this." 

He said; however, he took the decision and decided that enough was enough and this came through looking into the mirror and acknowledging his shortfalls.

"I'm talking to anyone out there that would be in the same situation that has held yourself back. You know that you've been blessed with a gift, you know that you shouldn't be doing so much, you've heard it your whole life, but you're not doing it.”

Callwood continued, “Look into the mirror and speak to yourself. You need to forgive yourself. You need to forgive your past, you need to forgive everyone and anything that has ever wronged you and just make the decision that now is your time,” he said.

25 Responses to “VI will be 'lost to crime' if Gov’t fails to create opportunities for youths- Curtis Callwood”

  • Styles. (12/09/2023, 10:56) Like (33) Dislike (4) Reply
    Problem is, the government is criminal themselves. So don’t expect much from them.
    • Greg (13/09/2023, 00:14) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      The government cannot do it all. Since a lot of families own properties here, why not set up a small business for your children to become entrepreneurs? Out of a container like so many others here? Build your small start-up business for any kind such as food, clothing sales, deliveries, copying machine service, storage, cleaning service, painting inside or outside of buildings, cleaning yards, weed whacking, hair braiding or selling hair supplies, ice cream shop, manicurist/pedicurist, sewing class or tailoring or whatever they are interested in. Parents have a role to play in their children's futures so why not give them a start if you can?
  • (12/09/2023, 10:57) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good stuff
  • preach (12/09/2023, 11:00) Like (32) Dislike (1) Reply
    A message with sense. They also need to pay better staff properly as well as stop finding every reason to withhold compensation. They make things hard for individuals while the drug game offers opportunity to excel. What you really think would be the results. Living here is expensive, leaders squander funds and then the solution is increase tax on the already struggling man. Learn to manage funds better and stop being greedy.
  • Yes (12/09/2023, 11:27) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    The man speaks the Truth. Amen.
  • (12/09/2023, 12:03) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Excellent interview another strong black man!
  • guy hill (12/09/2023, 12:07) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    The young men and women need to calculate the future cost of their Actions,Decisions and Choices. (ADC)
  • Well said (12/09/2023, 12:20) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Thank you Curtis for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak to the issue of youth employment in this country.For far too long nothing have been done to address the problems with the youths; it’s just lip service on or before the general elections and then after the results, it’s forgotten. Let’s hope that those in authority will pay attention to this article and do whatever is necessary to act on behalf of the youths.
  • Per Misso (12/09/2023, 12:21) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    The youths of the BVI,specifically BVIslanders have options and should avail themselves of abroad, jobs,travel. It has been my personal observation that those who don't are not knowledgeable in the rudimentary art of social interaction and common sense. Creating jobless jobs locally wont create the needed functionality,
    required to function adequately in today's world.
  • hold on (12/09/2023, 12:25) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    Good points but let us not lose sight that while crime is not something any of us want we must admit there are a lot of positive things happening in the BVi but it does not get as much media and naysayers coverage as when a serious crime or something negative happens. So we glorify the negativity and hide the positivity. This makes the world think BVI is being loss to crime but it isn't.
  • my two cents (12/09/2023, 12:27) Like (16) Dislike (3) Reply
    The BVI is a beautiful place but the majority is allowing a few bitter minority turn the place into a complaining and negative atmosphere. This is where the problem lies.
  • facts (12/09/2023, 12:35) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
    BVI needs serious prayers as there is a dominating, failure, enslaving, frustrating, complaining, suicidal, downpressing, quiting, evil spirit over the country. It is coming from places most least expect or would want to blame especially the beloved by some colonial masters. This is real. Get the real & true Pastors and Prophets of God to Pray it off and Pray God back in and all will be surprised how quickly the country will start to feel light and prosperous again. A word to the wise.
  • Youth (12/09/2023, 12:37) Like (23) Dislike (1) Reply
    All of sudden everything is based on politics and expecting the politicians and Governor to be our saviors when in fact BVI was built on them following our lead and not the other way around. We are our own saviors so let us stop looking to them to be our refuge and strength.
  • Speak the truth.. (12/09/2023, 13:39) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    Youths especially local youths don't want to work in sun bro and to add they don't want to work for minimum wage..Not even security they want to do for $8.00 per hr. Top priority have to import security can't get local youths to do it... Its not just here its youths everywhere. They rather take tbe risk to get that big fish..Nothing to do with govt, its the youth mind set. The system already gave them an advantage they must be first. Its on them..
  • charles (12/09/2023, 13:40) Like (1) Dislike (10) Reply
    Obeah is also a suitable solution. Has kept countless Virgin Islanders employed since aniquity.
    • @charles (13/09/2023, 00:24) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      You are mixing it up. It is what has kept the Virgin Islanders down by the Brits as they are masters at it for centuries. Now a days they even hire them right in front of your eyes but called them consultants so you would not be the wiser. Thing to talk.
    • @charles (13/09/2023, 07:00) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Put up some old pieces of cloth all around the place. It will help.
  • Youth thank you. (12/09/2023, 14:20) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    We need stop looking to those folks for help. Help our selves just get the wheels moving, eventually them will jump on.
    • @Youth thank you. (13/09/2023, 00:25) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Finally you get it about the Governor and his UK imps.
  • no way (12/09/2023, 15:59) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    BVI needs to take steps to redo the demographic of its population and without haste.
    A dominant demograhic population of immigrants from the World's top ten crime countries as occupants residents students parents is a recipe for disaster.
    Crime and lack of family structures is currently the VI going forward,a no win from all angles.
  • BREWERS BAY (12/09/2023, 20:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Respect Cuz. Good interview.
  • Awwee (12/09/2023, 21:53) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Proud of you Curtis. Positive message.
  • always (12/09/2023, 22:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Unfortunately they don’t want to work
  • @always (13/09/2023, 14:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    You are wrong, they donot want to work for minimum wage because they spend their money in the Virgin Islands not where one US dollar can buy a farm
  • Classmate (13/09/2023, 16:27) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Congrats class mate on empowering others to step out of their norms. You have touch on so many concerns that plaque our community for years. But why is the leaders not listening. Why they can't be proactive for the children of our future. This guy have journey through some many obstacles in his life. He process so many talents. We need people like Mr. Callwood to embrace our communities. Our children. What a power role model to have to uplift our country. Our people and our youths.ay god continue to blessed and protect you always classmate. One BVI.

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