JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Four students of Jamaican heritage living across the diaspora are now in Jamaica benefiting from a one-month internship, under the GraceKennedy Jamaica Birthright Programme.
  • Senator Johnson Smith said the Birthright programme epitomises the ‘we care’ philosophy of GraceKennedy.
  • For his part, Group Chief Executive Officer at GraceKennedy, Senator Don Wehby, said he is pleased to be welcoming the 2016 cohort under the programme.

Four students of Jamaican heritage living across the diaspora are now in Jamaica benefiting from a one-month internship, under the GraceKennedy Jamaica Birthright Programme.

The programme is a cultural and professional internship geared at highlighting all aspects of Jamaican life, while furthering the career goals of the selected candidates.  Participants are Kimberly Ann Stephenson and Casey Daley from the United States of America; Natasha Allen from Canada; and Karis Edwards from the United Kingdom.

The selected candidates are assigned to work in a GraceKennedy subsidiary linked to their field of study, thereby granting them hands-on experience in a wide range of industries.

Speaking at the media launch of the programme on July 11, in Kingston, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, commended GraceKennedy for conceptualising and implementing the initiative.

“The programme is not only unique in its focus, but it is innovative and well timed as it seeks to expose university students of Jamaican descent, who have never lived in Jamaica, to the wide-ranging industries within the GraceKennedy group and more importantly to introduce the students to the dynamism of our Jamaican culture,” she said.

Senator Johnson Smith said the Birthright programme epitomises the ‘we care’ philosophy of GraceKennedy.

“It is yet another initiative that demonstrates this company’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, not only in Jamaica but in the jurisdictions with which GraceKennedy is established,” she noted.

She added that there are clear synergies with the Birthright programme and the Government’s policy thrust to engage the Jamaican Diaspora for the purpose of national development.

Senator Johnson Smith said GraceKennedy has played an integral role in the formulation and execution of a wide range of initiatives and mechanisms to deepen the partnership with the diaspora.

For his part, Group Chief Executive Officer at GraceKennedy, Senator Don Wehby, said he is pleased to be welcoming the 2016 cohort under the programme.

“The goal of the programme is to connect bright and talented young people to their roots, improving their knowledge of their Jamaican heritage and give them a more complete sense of self,” he said.

Senator Wehby pointed out that the participants will not only have internship and mentorship opportunities, but will also benefit from a variety of cultural programmes, which will expose them to the Jamaican heritage.

Sponsors of the programme include GraceKennedy Limited, Jakes Treasure Beach Jamaica, Appleton Rum Tour, Chukka Tours, Dolphin Cove, Jamaica National Heritage Trust, Flow Jamaica, Bob Marley Museum, Jamaica Tourist Board, Chukka, Mystic Mountain, Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, Supreme Ventures, Green Grotto Caves and Attraction, Rose Hall Jamaica, Appleton Estate Rum Tour and Hi-Lo Food Stores.