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Kingston, Jamaica – Forty companies and individuals were honoured by Junior Achievement (JA) Jamaica at their recently held Champions for Youth Awards Banquet. The event, now being held for the seventh consecutive year, honours the top teacher in each parish, as well as the companies that have been remarkable in their support of the organization during the 2018/2019 academic year. This year, the banquet was held under the theme, ‘Unmasking Excellence’, as the organization sought to highlight the invaluable role played by many partners to reach over 80,000 youth over the last ten years.
JA Jamaica’s Chairman, Paul Lalor, expressed that he is proud of the organization’s accomplishments while noting the contributions of all partners, staff, volunteers and teachers, even those not recognized this year.
“It is the involvement and dedication of various public and private sector partners that have assisted us at Junior Achievement Jamaica to continue to guide youth in meeting their financial and career goals,” he said. “We continue to share the value of Junior Achievement in building Jamaica’s economy- from them learning to write cheques to understand how to develop and execute business plans.”
Among the awards given out that evening was a very special recognition to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MoEYI). President of JA Jamaica, Alphie Mullings-Aiken remarked that the Ministry has been consistent in their support of JA Jamaica since 2009. Dr. Nadine Leachman, Deputy Chief Executive Officer was present to collect the award on behalf of the MoEYI.
“The Ministry of Education Youth and Information was there with us from inception. Now, as we continue to grow- the Ministry is helping to play a pivotal role in our expansion,” explained a proud Mullings-Aiken. “We are continuing to support the Ministry in rolling out Entrepreneurship is all high schools as a part of the National Standards’ Curriculum.”
The Junior Achievement Company of Entrepreneurs (JACE) Programme teaches students how to start and run companies. Throughout the year, grade nine students will be involved in a structured curriculum where they will be taught fundamental business and entrepreneurial concepts, while operating businesses, as well as selling products and services.
In addition, the MOEYI, the other organizations that received awards were CB Group, GB Energy, Ernst & Young Services Limited, Flow, Insurance Company of the West Indies, Jamaica Public Service, GraceKennedy, Scotiabank, Citibank, the United States Agency for International Development, Financial Services Commission, Drink Real Milk, First Heritage Co-Operative Credit Union, The Gleaner Company- Children’s Own, FedEx and CUSO.
“We had so many great teachers in our programme this year. As we expand, now on a trajectory to reach over 100,000 youth by 2020, selecting one teacher per parish was a difficult task,” explained Mullings-Aiken. “We appreciate the work done by each and every teacher and company.”
The top teachers per parish were: Salomie Dunkley (Knockalva Technical High School in Hanover), Saskiea Whyte (Manning’s High School in Westmoreland), Tyneth Thompson-Wright (Anchovy Primary School in St. James), Andre Robinson (Hastings Primary in Trelawny), Roxanna Bailey-Black (Nain Technical High in St. Elizabeth), Vincent Lawes (Dinthill Technical High in St. Catherine), Letesha O’Meally (Horace Clarke High in St. Mary), Duval Ebanks (Camperdown Primary in St. Ann), Alha Davis (Fairfield Primary in Manchester), Kimoy Benjamin (Kellits Primary in Clarendon), Jheanelle Lee-Williams (Convent of Mercy Academy ‘Alpha’ in Kingston), Elaine Bryan (Port Antonio High in Portland), Marsharee Young (Allman Hill Primary in St. Andrew), and Damian Anderson (Minto Primary in St. Thomas).