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Minister Rodwell Ferguson visits California, United States; looks at youth programs, transport system, explores football collaboration

Posted: Friday, November 18, 2022. 11:25 am CST.

Photo Credit: GOB Press Office

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Minister of Youth, Sports, and Transport Rodwell Ferguson led a delegation on a visit to Santa Monica, California, to look at youth programs and their transport system, and to explore football collaboration with the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL).

During his visit from November 10 to 15, 2022, Ferguson and his delegation had several meetings with groups of officials from Los Angeles and Santa Monica, said a statement issued by the Government of Belize Press Office.

Ferguson met with Barry Snell, Trustee for Santa Monica College and Board Member of downtown Santa Monica, and his wife Kera Blades-Snell, Executive Director of Santa Monica Black Lives Association and owner of Jahvy International. Blades-Snell gave the Belize delegation an overview of Santa Monica’s community youth athletic programs and the city’s electric transportation operations.

The delegation toured the Boys and Girls Club facility in Santa Monica.

“This youth facility hosts afterschool programs, which foster academic development, promote physical health and well-being, and provide a safe and supportive environment for the youth,” said the GOB Press Office statement.

The Ferguson-led delegation visited Santa Monica College where they looked at education programs offered for youth enhancement.

Additionally, they toured the Big Blue Bird Bus Company to get a close look of the operation of their transportation system, which utilizes electric buses.

“The company’s Assistant Director of Operations Eric O’Connor offered advice on some practices Belize can adopt to its transportation sector,” said the GOB Press Office.

As Minister of Sports, Ferguson, according to the Press Office, also held discussions with members of the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) with whom he discussed collaboration between the UPSL and the Premier League of Belie. Reggie Ellis, Athletic Director of Santa Monica College facilitated a tour of SOFI Stadium and its operations.

The Belize delegation also met Rashad Rucher-Trapp and Raul Carlos, co-founders and Chief Strategists of the Reimagine LA Foundation.

“The foundation advocates for equity and inclusion of youth and families,” said the statement.

“Mr. Trapp and Mr. Carlos briefed the group on the current youth and gang situation in Los Angeles as well as discussed programs created for youth and gang reduction.

“Hon. Rodwell Ferguson expresses a heartfelt thank you to Mr. Barry Snell, and Mrs. Kera Blades-Snell for organizing and facilitating the visit as well as other officials who took time out of their packed schedules to ensure that the visit to Santa Monica was successful,” said the Press Office.

“The visit serves as a springboard for future discussions and collaboration that will lead to further youth development in Belize through sports, educational programs and other key areas,” the statement ended.


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