“I’m proud of the progress I’ve made and the person I’m becoming, thanks to Heroes.”

Imagine feeling like every conversation is a mountain too high to climb. This was the reality for 14-year-old Xavion, who found it daunting to interact confidently with friends or teachers. He felt trapped by silence, held back by fear from sharing his thoughts, asking questions, or seeking help when he needed it most.

“This silence was my comfort zone,” he admits, “but it also felt like a wall stopping me from doing things I wanted to do.”

Luckily, his journey took a transformative turn when he enrolled in the Heroes Development Programme (HDP), delivered at the South East Port-of-Spain Secondary School with support from Scotiabank and the Scotiabank Foundation. HDP is a 3-year intervention that empowers young people to unlock their inner hero, overcome life’s challenges, and become positive influences in society.

To Xavion, Heroes is more than just an extracurricular activity. “It felt like a new chapter in my life,” he reveals, “A chapter where I began to peel away the layers of my shyness and discovered a more confident, happier me.”

A significant milestone on Xavion’s journey was finding the self-confidence to open up about his thoughts and feelings.

“I felt important and safe,” he recounts with newfound pride, “and I started engaging more, asking questions, and even speaking publicly in front of strangers at our annual awards ceremony. This was a victory for me because I never thought I could speak in front of an audience before.”

Making new friends and engaging in lively discussions have become highlights of Xavion’s Heroes experience.  Yet, the impact has extended far beyond social engagement.  “The career planning sessions really opened my eyes,” he reflects.  “I learned how to map out my career path with smart steps and goals. For the first time, I was able to see a clear direction for my future.”

Financial literacy also captured his interest.  Through fun and educational activities like “Money Management Monopoly,” he quickly grasped the basics of managing finances, making investments, and using resources wisely. 

During his time with Heroes, Xavion has also grown into a more responsible global citizen. “I learned the importance of respecting our environment through initiatives like the anti-littering campaigns we rolled out in school,” he explains.  “My artistic side was encouraged through painting sessions, and I really appreciate the importance of showing respect to everyone, regardless of their background or status.”

Reflecting on his journey, Xavion recognises the profound growth he has undergone.  “I’m proud of the progress I’ve made and the person I’m becoming, thanks to Heroes,” he shares with a smile.  Grateful for every lesson, friendship, and value instilled, Xavion looks forward with confidence and a strong sense of purpose, embodying the essence of the transformation that the Heroes Foundation aims to inspire.

Photo: Xavion, with schoolmate Soraya, reciting a poem during the HDP Year 2 Annual Awards at the South East Port-of-Spain Secondary School.
Photo: Xavion, with schoolmate Soraya, reciting a poem during the HDP Year 2 Annual Awards at the South East Port-of-Spain Secondary School.
Xavion collects his Year 2 HDP certificate from Cindy Mohammed, Manager – Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility and General Manager – Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago Foundation
Xavion collects his Year 2 HDP certificate from Cindy Mohammed, Manager – Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility and General Manager – Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago Foundation