In her inaugural address, Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago encouraged citizens to search out and be inspired by the points of light in our nation. One such point of light referred to by Her Excellency was young environmentalist and innovator Gabrielle Branche.

On her own initiative, Ms. Branche established the highly successful Triple R project in local secondary schools in order to raise awareness about the environment. The project engineered to promote the reducing, reusing and recycling of waste was launched after she won a prestigious cash award from the United World Colleges.

This was an accomplishment that was the result of long hours and a great deal of dedication. With her positive attitude and willingness to undertake difficult tasks on her own, Gabrielle certainly exemplifies that mandate by President Weekes to ‘step out boldly and make Trinidad and Tobago a better place.’ By putting words into action in order to effect tangible change, her efforts directly addressed the issue of Trinidad and Tobago’s enormous carbon footprint.

Her Excellency was therefore pleased to receive Gabrielle, together with her mother, Ms. Lisa Wickham at her office on Thursday 21st June, 2018.

Ms. Branche, who is now a student of New York University in the United Arab Emirates had a lively discussion with President Weekes and expressed her appreciation and elation at having been referred to in the inaugural speech. Gabrielle presented an Arabic pot and coffee to President Weekes, who was in turn delighted to autograph a large printout of the inaugural address.

President Weekes continues to be an enthusiastic advocate for the involvement of young people in the affairs of this nation. In view of her passion for the environment, Ms. Branche was encouraged by Her Excellency to come up with further environmental projects which would benefit Trinidad and Tobago and which the Office of the President would be honoured to champion.