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Op-Ed: Emotional intelligence and Puerto Rico’s economic future

Two years after the COVID-19 pandemic, its consequences on the comprehensive development of youth are undeniable. Academic lags have increased and there has been a drastic rise in symptoms of anxiety and depression that affect the socio-emotional skills of the young population on the Island.

Given the gradual return to normality, it’s time to look into the future and begin to repair damages such as academic backwardness, lack of socialization, anxiety and desolation caused by social isolation and the ravages of the pandemic.

It’s important to repair this damage and reinforce the socio-emotional skills of our young people in time, since they are key to developing their emotional intelligence, which is crucial for their professional future. The future of our island will depend on the professional success of our young people.

Despite popular belief, studies show that intellectual intelligence only accounts for 20% of a person’s success. The other 80% is attributed to emotional intelligence. Likewise, productivity can increase up to 20% when team members use emotional intelligence correctly.

Author Natalia Márquez is a psychologist, owner of the Brave Therapy Camp Learning Center, and co-creator of the Brave Summer Camp.

Strengthening now the emotional intelligence of the teen population is vital for the island’s future, since the new models of social organization, inside and outside of a corporation, require a particular approach in the way situations are addressed and people is dealt with.

Today’s market requires professionals to not only have the technical knowledge of their profession, but can also be empathic, to easily adapt to changing situations, to make the right decisions and resolve situations wisely, and to relate with and identify the needs of their team members, to achieve greater productivity.

So, the more individuals with emotional intelligence predominate in a society, the greater the success of the companies, which will directly result in the island’s economic development. For this reason, it is essential to tackle the damage that the pandemic has caused to the emotional health of our young people.

It is important to disallow the socio-emotional damage caused by the pandemic to affect the future of the island’s young population. There are several training workshops to help parents in the task of guiding their children through this process, as well as extracurricular activities to help children strengthen their social-emotional skills.

One option is the Brave Summer Camp, which offers children and young people, from 5 to 16 years old, the opportunity to catch up on academic subjects and strengthen their self-esteem and social skills through sports and physical and artistic activities.

The summer camp will be held at two locations, Rexville and Hato Tejas, Bayamón. It runs June 6- July 15. Those interested in more information, may call 787-951-4969 or write to [email protected] or visit its Facebook page.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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