JIS Hosts Back-To-School/Career Day Fair At Mount Olivet Boys’ Home

Photo: Michael Sloley President of the Jamaica Medical Doctors Association (JMDA), Dr. Elon Thompson (right), hands over a cheque valuing $80,000 to Director of the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home, Patrick Newman, in Walderston, Manchester, on Saturday, August 25, 2018, while a ward (centre) looks on. The event was the annual Jamaica Information Service-organised Back-to-School event, which this year took the form of a Career Day. The 46 wards were given items, including bags, shoes, books and socks donated by corporate sponsors. Other speakers present included a chef and barbers from HEART Trust/NTA, a construction engineer, a lawyer, a videographer and drone pilot, and a team from the National Youth Service.

Story Highlights

  • The Jamaica Medical Doctors Association (JMDA) was among the donors in this year’s Back-to-School initiative at the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home in Walderston, Manchester.
  • President of the JMDA, Dr. Elon Thompson, presented a cheque valuing $80,000 following his address to wards of the Home at a Career Day activity organised by the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) on Saturday, August 25.
  • “I know it’s not much, but we hope it will go a far way at the Home. We know it’s back-to-school time and I want to wish the boys here all the best,” said Dr. Thompson.

The Jamaica Medical Doctors Association (JMDA) was among the donors in this year’s Back-to-School initiative at the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home in Walderston, Manchester.

President of the JMDA, Dr. Elon Thompson, presented a cheque valuing $80,000 following his address to wards of the Home at a Career Day activity organised by the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) on Saturday, August 25.

“I know it’s not much, but we hope it will go a far way at the Home. We know it’s back-to-school time and I want to wish the boys here all the best,” said Dr. Thompson.

Accepting the donation, Director of the Home, Patrick Newman, expressed gratitude for the gift, noting that the money will go a far way in readying the boys for the new school year.

“Residential care is not cheap. It takes a whole  lot of money to send these boys back to school, and if you know anything about the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home, we want when our boys leave and arrive at school they look just like anybody else,” he said.

Mr. Newman appealed for other institutions and organisations to join the effort to assist the boys during their time at the Home.

“Give what you can and help a young man. What we are trying to do is educate them,” he encouraged. Addressing the boys, he urged, “If you can’t manage your book, you have to manage a skill. So you tell us what you want to do and we’ll make sure that when you are leaving our gates, you have a sound education or skill to go out and get work or start a business.”

Other organisations involved in the charity event were HEART College of Beauty Services, Boys’ Town Vocational Training Centre, Nestlé, Sammy’s Shoe Store, Carby’s, Shernett Robinson and Associates, North East Regional Health Authority, Lloyd J. Robinson and Associates, and Juici Patties.

The boys were treated to haircuts from a group comprising 15 barbers from the HEART College of Beauty Services, as well as cooking demonstrations by Chef George Cooper from the Boys’ Town Vocational Training Centre. The boys also received school supplies, including bags, shoes, socks, and notebooks.

During the career talk segment, presenters in various fields spoke to the boys about their experiences and gave guidance on how to enter and achieve success in the profession.

Dr. Thompson, who is Jamaica’s youngest urologist, underscored the significance of education. “The important thing at this stage is to recognise that having a solid education is still supposed to be considered cool, because that is the only thing that no one in the world can take away from you. If it is that you have a solid education, then your aspirations and dreams are limitless,”

Shernett Robinson, a trained teacher, who later went on to a 20-year career in media before entering law, encouraged the boys not to be disheartened if it takes longer than they desire to realise their dream.

“Sometimes you want to take a particular route, but it takes a sort of round-the-world (path). But keep focused on what you want to do; keep your eye on the ball,” the lawyer said.

Christopher Cole from HEART Trust/NTA, who has been a barber for more than 10 years, encouraged the boys to regard the challenges as ingredients in the final product of their lives. “Obstacles might come your way, but it’s part of life,” he counselled.

Continuing, he urged them to get a skill, pointing out that HEART Trust certification is recognised worldwide.

JIS videographer, Omar Green, along with colleague Neville Salmon, demonstrated some of the elements of videography, including how to use a drone camera. He explained to the boys that the ability to focus will be a crucial element in their success in any career choice.

“Focus on what’s important. Whatever the goals are – doctor, teacher, lawyer, videographer, producer, focus on what you want to achieve,” he pointed out.

Advice on careers in the construction industry was given by Sheldon Rose, construction engineer and Director of Operations and Maintenance North East Regional Health Authority, and architect, Sana Williams of the architectural firm, Lloyd J. Robinson and Associates.

The Mount Olivet Boys’ Home remains the main corporate social responsibility of the JIS since it was adopted by the Agency in 2009.

Members of staff visit the Home at least three times annually to bring well-needed items and spend time with the wards.

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