I had the privilege of attending this year’s Junior Achievement Awards Dinner last weekend. If you’re not aware of it, Junior Achievement is a global volunteer led programme that has been running for 23 years here in the Cayman Islands. It aims to develop the entrepreneurial skills of Cayman’s secondary school students. JA has increased its participation (from students, volunteers and sponsors alike) year on year since it began. This year has been the biggest yet I believe with almost 50% growth since 2010 alone.
Junior Achievement is an extremely worthwhile project for any business or individual to get involved with be it by donating time or much needed dollars to the programme.
This year fourteen teams of students from all three islands came together to develop, market and sell a product under the guidance of advisors from corporate sponsors such as Citco, BDO and Digicel. These products were then presented by the students at a Trade Fair in the Governors House.
Saturday night was the culmination of almost six months of hard work from all participants and an opportunity to be recognized for sterling efforts and achievements. It was quite clear from the enthusiasm and energy in the room that the students really value JA and the opportunity to be a part of it. Friendships and life lessons were undoubtedly made by many!
My own involvement was on the Human Resources side. I met with and interviewed all team ‘HR VPs’ and evaluated them accordingly. I then had the pleasure of presenting the award to a remarkable student by the name of Ms Bianca Tibbett’s. Bianca not only won the HR award but was one of the eight students chosen to go to Canada to attend the Next Generation Leaders Forum. All on top of acting as co-MC on the night! Bianca is clearly a multi-talented young Caymanian to keep an eye on!
Congratulations again to all the winners, Baraud is looking forward to 2015 already! For more information on Junior Achievement check out www.juniorachievement.org