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Students from across the island benefited from a day of career talks at the HEART/NSTA Trust Youth Festival held recently at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.

The event included informative presentations on non-traditional career paths such as digital marketing; the creative industry, including dance; and social media influencing.

Digital Marketer and owner of Digital Jamaica, Kadia Francis, encouraged the young people to use the Internet to their advantage.

“If you want to be seen by the right people, create opportunities for yourself or put yourself in a better position to attract opportunities, then the Internet is a really good place to do it,” she noted.

Senior Programmes Director for Apprenticeship and Micro Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) at the HEART/NSTA Trust, Marlon Johnson, urged the youngsters to make HEART their institution of choice. He noted that acquiring a skill is financially feasible.

Mr. Johnson encouraged students to become comfortable with “learning, unlearning and relearning, so that they are not left behind in the information age, where illiteracy will be measured by those who fail to use the information they are given to their benefit”.

Speaking on behalf of Minister of Education and Youth, Hon. Fayval Williams, Assistant Chief Education Officer in the Curriculum Development Unit, Sadpha Bennett, lauded the HEART/NSTA Trust for serving Jamaica for 40 years and bringing together a wide cross section of young people who represent the future of the country.

He said the festival was an important one, as it amplified the value that the country places on the youth.

“We, at the Ministry, commit to continue to serve our young Jamaicans because it is through this process of education and training that the development of Jamaica as a country rests,” he added.

Mr. Bennett noted that with YouTube becoming the new workspace for many, the world has evolved into a global service sector where it is no longer required for a person to travel to engage or use one’s vocation or skills.

Students were also given pointers on how to create and maintain wealth by financial journalist Kahlila Reynolds; how to keep in good health by Dr. Joel Williams; and the ups and downs of becoming a social media influencer by Kareen “Bwoyatingz” Weathers, Keticia “TC” Chapman as well as their manager Kassandra Henry.

Dancer, actress and teacher Shelly Callum (Shelly Xpressions) gave a brief explanation and demonstration of the different eras of Jamaica’s dance and music.

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