- Education continues to be a priority at the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home, as the administration of the State-run residence pulls out all the stops to provide an environment conducive to the development of the wards in the institution’s care.
- “The boys are doing very well. We have 10 boys who were placed between first and 10th in their classes,” the Home’s Director, Patrick Newman, told JIS News during a recent career day event at the facility in Walderston, Manchester.
- “When you look at some of the cases, when they came to us, they were out of the formal school system for three, sometimes four years,” he noted.
Education continues to be a priority at the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home, as the administration of the State-run residence pulls out all the stops to provide an environment conducive to the development of the wards in the institution’s care.
“The boys are doing very well. We have 10 boys who were placed between first and 10th in their classes,” the Home’s Director, Patrick Newman, told JIS News during a recent career day event at the facility in Walderston, Manchester.
“When you look at some of the cases, when they came to us, they were out of the formal school system for three, sometimes four years,” he noted.
He said that for this academic year, one boy is registered at the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), after passing seven subjects in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, and others at the HEART Trust/NTA.
Mr. Newman noted that Mount Olivet is a place of choice for boys in State care and expressed gratitude to entities such as the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) for the support provided to the Home over the years.
“This didn’t happen as an accident. It happened because we have people like the JIS who are so committed. Your presence and commitment to Mount Olivet is paying off. I don’t want you to stop anytime soon,” he said.
At the career day, professionals from various fields provided guidance and advice to the wards as part of their preparation for the new school year.
There were representatives from law enforcement, dentistry, entertainment, journalism, science and Government. The day’s activities were organised by JIS, which adopted the Home in 2009.
Sergeant Deane Cover of the Community Safety and Security Division highlighted the importance of staying on the right side of the law.
“You must ensure that as a youngster growing up you have a good record; that is important. Once you are over the age of 12, then, by law, you can be charged. So your record is important because once you have a criminal record, you cannot walk through the back door to join the (police) force,” he pointed out.
Sergeant Cover encouraged the boys to “exhibit good mannerisms, conduct and show that you respect authority” even while they are in the care of the State.
President of the Jamaica Dental Association, Dr. Oswald Dunn, in his presentation, pointed out that dentistry is a rewarding field, with the greatest satisfaction coming from restoring smiles.
He encouraged the boys to think beyond their current circumstance and pointed out that they can achieve any of the goals to which they aspire.
“A lot of times the door might appear closed or locked, but sometimes it is not locked. If you push a little bit harder it can open up,” he said.
Assistant Superintendent, Jamaica Fire Brigade, O. Bryan, in outlining the entry requirements and the benefits available for members, said that a career in the service can be fulfilling.
“You can start… move up the ranks… . Our Commissioner, now, is coming from the ranks of firefighter right through [to the top job],” he said.
He urged the boys to dream big. “Don’t just enter an organisation for the money. Instead, aspire to be leaders and represent your country well,” he advised.
For his part, JIS photographer, Michael Sloley, explained that a career behind the camera requires not just skill and dedication but discipline as well.
He noted that every assignment is as much an opportunity to learn as it is to earn.
Meanwhile, Director of the Road Safety Unit, Kenute Hare, in a candid presentation to the boys, urged them to stay in school and focus on their studies.
He cautioned that if they are not wise in selecting the vehicles in which they travel and think “it is cool to be a ‘shotta’ or ‘hothead’ driver, all these dreams that you have will come to naught”.
Other presenters included Daniel Gillings, a scientist from the University of the West Indies, Mona, who performed experiments; and musician and graduate of the Edna Manley School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Leon Campbell.
The boys also benefited from haircuts done by barbers from HEART Trust/NTA.
Sponsors for the event were YB Afraid, Wisynco, Sagicor Foundation, Sammy’s Shoes; Cooper’s Delights; CB Chicken; Jamaica Urban Transport Company as well as private individuals, including staff members of the Jamaica Customs Agency.