Climbing the Career Ladder
Published 4th May 2011, 7:6pm
Overwhelmed with emotion and grateful for the valuable lessons they've learned over recent weeks, 21 youngsters have participated in the third Passport2Success group's commencement ceremony.
Poised to take their place in Cayman's corporate community after having acquired résumé writing, interviewing, conflict avoidance and other such skills, the students were eager to show their appreciation.
Expressing thanks through the arts, they re-enacted scenes from the programme, serenaded organisers and shared their thoughts via numerous written tributes.
Participant Cindy Hydes said, "Passport2Success was a great experience. Some folks don't know how to write a résumé, speak in public or work in groups and this programme teaches you all of that.
"When I started I was really shy and reserved and had no idea what I was doing," she continued. "But the programme gave me confidence and made me step out of my comfort zone. I also learned patience and how to keep my cool. It taught me how to improve myself in lots of ways."
Andy Vernon, who believes he's now better equipped to present himself to others, said he definitely encourages his peers to try the programme.
"The government puts it on for us and we need to take the first step. As young Caymanians we need to step up, take it, make use of it and stop complaining. The world of 80 years ago is long gone. We're now on a global platform, competing against persons from near and far and we need to be ready for that."
In his address, Education Minister, the Hon Rolston Anglin, JP, noted that his ministry's key objective is to provide seamless bridges to success.
"Young people need to be prepared not only to take advantage of opportunities when they arise, but also to make positive contributions to any organisation they join."
He further reminded participants that skills had to be accompanied by the right approach. "You have greater potential for long-term success if you mix the skills you've just gained with the right attitude," he said.
"The one thing you have 100 percent control over is yourself... your outlook, your attitude, and the way you interact with others. This will have the greatest impact on whether or not you succeed."
Eight participants were specially recognised for their growth and dedication throughout the 12-week programme. Denry Howell was judged the most outstanding participant, while Cindy Hydes and Darin Conolly took Leader in the Making awards.
Alejandro Calidonio and Geanna Bodden received Commitment to Growth awards, while Kizzie Codlyn was deemed the Most Improved Participant, and Alexander Smiley and Tatiana Hodgson earned Rising Star awards.
A free public-private-funded initiative, Passport2Success targets young Caymanians aged 17 - 20 years, who are recent high school graduates and who have not yet found suitable employment. It is co-sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Training & Employment; the Butterfield Group; CML Offshore Recruitment and LIME.