MP Hails Positive Impact of UTECH Summer Programme

Photo: JIS Photographer Member of Parliament for Eastern St. Andrew, Hon. Andre Hilton (right), assists Chief Executive Office at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Donna-Marie Rowe (left) in handing over a prize of JIS publications to nine year old Kyle Alridge of Highlight View, at the closing ceremony of the University of Technology’s Youth Summer Programme 2013 on July 26 . He was one of the top ten participants in the programme which saw the five communities of Kintyre, Tavern, Highlight View, August Town and Sandy Park benefitting. Special Projects Officer at the JIS, Christine Ade-Gold (background) looks on.

Story Highlights

  • Students were from Kintyre, Highlight View, Tavern, August Town and Sandy Park
  • JIS commended for participating in the programme
  • The summer programme is a 14 year tradition

Member of Parliament for Eastern St. Andrew, Andre Hilton, has hailed the positive impact that the University of Technology’s (UTech) 2013 Summer Programme “Teach the Youth” has had on its young participants.

The students were from the surrounding communities of Kintyre, Highlight View, Tavern, August Town and Sandy Park.

Mr. Hylton, who was addressing the closing ceremony of the programme which was held under the theme, ‘Creating a Positive Impact Today for the Youth of Tomorrow’ on UTECH’s Kingston campus recently, noted that it embodies the kind of action and spirit that is going to move Jamaica forward to being the place of choice “to live, do business, raise families, and I dare say retire.”

The Member of Parliament has been a part of the 14 year tradition of the summer programme and he congratulated the UTech Student’s Union and members of the Guild for spearheading the event. He also pledged his continued support.

Mr. Hylton encouraged others to play active roles in similar programmes noting that it makes a difference. “Sometimes we take these things for granted, that in some areas of Jamaica, summer camps are the norm, especially with persons with deep pockets. But when we consider some of our beautiful children in some of our communities who can’t afford it, this means a lot to them. So on behalf of all the communities that you have gone into, UTech, we want to thank you,” he said.

“I am sure with this vibrant Guild you must have impacted the lives of these students, and I think you did a miraculous job with the little resources you had,” Mr. Hylton added.

He also commended the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) and other sponsors who participated in the programme. “We have always seen them (JIS) on TV and at some functions recording what is happening, but it is good that see that you have played an integral part in this effort from beginning to end. It encourages the students and we love that. I think that is fantastic,” Mr. Hylton said.

In the meantime, Chief Executive Officer, JIS, Donna-Marie Rowe, said her agency was happy to have played a pivotal role in the programme. “We recognize that we at the JIS and those of you in the Students’ Union are agents of change, even as you saw this project through to the end. We are very pleased to be here and we’re happy that our team helped to ensure the JIS played an active role.”

During the course of the programme several members of the JIS team made presentations to the children.

Based on performance over the duration of the three-week programme, UTech chose the top ten students from each community. They were Alyssa Hunter and Ajumu Hunter from Tavern; Givonni Calame and Shaniel Mitchell of August Town; Nasheen Campbell and Kyle Alridge from Highlight View; Joseph Rodney and Aisha Hewitt from Sandy Park; and Daneil Brown and Shavanesse from Kintyre.

Director of Community Services in the Students’ Union Guild, Jerome Graham, was grateful to all those who played a positive role in the programme’s success. “We could not have done this without our sponsors and participants. The success is brimming. I can see it in the faces and smiles and the hard work we put in is paying off, even as we continue to make a positive impact on the youths of today for the youths of tomorrow,” he said.

Sponsors included the University of Technology; Scotiabank Chair in Entrepreneurship and Development; Best Dressed Chicken; Caribbean Producers Limited; National Youth Service; Reggae ‘Jammin’; Junior Chamber International; Food for the Poor; Supreme Ventures; Catherine’s Peak; Musson Jamaica Limited; Red Bull; Uncommon Arts; Bigga Valu Supermarket; Crown Packaging; Kirk Distributors; Virginia Dare Jamaica; Submerge; Rosie’s Catering; and Duhaney’s Mini Mart.

A special thanks was also extended to Shikisha Cowan; Member of Parliament Andre Hylton; Lorian Letts;  Lucille Dixon; Bertram Duhaney; Professor Rosalea Hamilton; UTech Students’ Union Council and Western Sub-Council and a list of student volunteers.

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