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Chief Executive Office at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Donna-Marie Rowe, presents a gift basket to Mount Olivet Boys’ Home 2018 Boy of the Year, during the annual Christmas luncheon held at the home in Walderston, Manchester, on December 8. Director of the Home, Patrick Newman, is in the background. Other presentations were made for Most Improved (behaviour), Most Improved (academics), Most Disciplined, and Most Helpful.

Story Highlights

  • Philanthropy extended to the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home is bearing fruit, with several of the wards performing outstandingly in academics and taking up leadership roles in their respective schools.
  • “We have three boys here who are prefects at their schools, and 13 of them last term came in the top 10 in their class,” said Director of the facility, Patrick Newman.
  • He was addressing the annual Christmas luncheon held at the home in Walderston, Manchester, on December 8.

Philanthropy extended to the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home is bearing fruit, with several of the wards performing outstandingly in academics and taking up leadership roles in their respective schools.

“We have three boys here who are prefects at their schools, and 13 of them last term came in the top 10 in their class,” said Director of the facility, Patrick Newman.

He was addressing the annual Christmas luncheon held at the home in Walderston, Manchester, on December 8.

Mr. Newman told the gathering of Jamaica Information Service (JIS) staff, friends and representatives of companies sponsoring the event, that one former ward is now in France studying politics, while some of the older boys are enrolled at Knox Community College and Portmore HEART Academy, pursuing programmes in construction.

“When we get them here, some of them have been out of the formal school system for two and three years. They come and settle, and we get the necessary help for them, and watch them transform before our eyes,” he noted.

“It is because of your help,” he said, attributing the change to the boost in the resources available to the home, which directly benefit the boys.

He gave credit to the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) and corporate entities, which continue to provide support for the boys throughout the year.

The agency adopted the home in 2009 and continues to provide well-needed items for the boys with the help of corporate Jamaica, while maintaining a mentorship programme. The JIS also organises a number of visits to the facility every year.

“Thanks to the JIS family, staff and everybody who comes. The impact is great. There’s a whole lot happening at Mount Olivet, and it’s because of persons like you,” Mr. Newman said.

Next year marks the 10th anniversary of the partnership between the government agency and the home, and Mr. Newman is hoping to commemorate the milestone in a big way.

“Hopefully, the new dorm will be built. A past student of the Holmwood Technical High School has shown some interest in the home and he wants to restore the woodwork shop here. We want to transform the home bit by bit, so that the boys who come to us will leave here as worthwhile citizens,” he said.

Chief Executive Officer at the JIS, Donna-Marie Rowe, in her address, said the agency had “big plans” to mark the anniversary.

“You’re going to hear all about the sponsorships and all the support that has come on board,” she told the boys and the staff.

The CEO reflected on JIS’s association with the home, and noted the growth of the boys over the years.

“We want to encourage the boys today, as we have stuck with you these nine years. The first time we came, none of them really wanted to speak to us. You all were very shy and very sceptical that we were not going to return. When we came back the following quarter you started to warm up to us, and then we started to make good friends [and became] mentors and mentees,” Mrs. Rowe said.

She congratulated Mr. Newman and the Mount Olivet staff for doing an “excellent job”. She noted that the boys are well loved by the JIS and that the agency wants the best for them, so they, in turn, should focus on their education and aim to be successful.

During the event, friends and staff of the JIS presented donations from companies, including Ping’s Fabrics; the HEART Trust/NTA’s Boys’ Town Vocational Training Centre; Caribbean Broilers; Rainforest Seafood; Fontana Pharmacy; and Wisynco, through the YB Afraid Foundation. The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) also sponsored the event.