Teens earn passports to success

| 06/09/2017
CNS Local Life

Sponsor Kenrick Webster (right) congratulates graduate Tyrek Minzett

(CNS Local Life): A celebration of achievements, and of the potential of eight young people, took place last week at the graduation of the National Workplace Development Agency’s (NWDA) latest Passport2Success (P2S) cohort. Held on Friday, 1 September, this was the 23rd successful graduation for this public-private initiative, which aims to maximise the education, training and employment potential of local youth.

Addressing the gathering, Premier Alden McLaughlin told the students, “You have each demonstrated a willingness to succeed.”

For the first time, the programme focused on students of the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre (CIFEC). McLaughlin, who holds responsibility for human resources, said that the success of the CIFEC programme has surpassed all expectations.

After graduating from Year 12, the participants engaged in a range of activities over the course of 12 weeks. In addition to the classroom sessions and work experience, the students volunteered time with the Cayman Aids Foundation and Meals on Wheels – and were rewarded with a fun-day social.

Each participant was attached to a local business in his or her area of interest. “I didn’t fool around at all,” said Abiann Gayle, who was awarded for her outstanding performance. “The NWDA and Passport2Success staff helped me to calm down and focus on my work, and also on the tests.”

The other students in the programme were Lauroya Ebanks, Marygrace Hibbert, Tresaun Jacques, Amber McLean, Shanique Morrison, Brina Dilbert and Tyrek Minzett, with the latter two given special awards for their efforts and accomplishments.

As an early indicator of their success, half of the group is now continuing their education, and the other four are already employed.

The P2S work-preparedness programme was initiated in 2010 to bridge the gap between leaving high school and entering the workforce. McLaughlin also thanked the two original private sector partners, Bank of Butterfield and Webster’s Tours, for their commitment to this initiative.

NWDA Training Manager Dianne Conolly said, “It’s about providing guidance, exploring various career pathways, making relevant connections, developing work skills and the desire for lifelong learning – including the option to access higher education and other training opportunities.”

The teens also have continued access to the NWDA’s services.

For more information on Passport2Success, call (945-3114) or email the NWDA

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Category: Education, Training, Youth

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