Ready, Set, Go!
Published 26th July 2011, 6:46pm
"If you can dream it, you can achieve it." This famous Walt Disney quote comprised the final words of encouragement spoken by Passport2Success Facilitator Dr. Tasha Ebanks-Garcia.
She was addressing the programme's fourth graduating class during their 25th July commencement ceremony.
Lauded for their hard work and dedication by a gathering of sponsors, family and friends, the 21 graduates expressed gratitude for the coaching they had received during the previous twelve weeks.
Graduate Rod Ramoon noted, "The programme does not create miracles. You've got to put in the effort to get positive results."
His colleague Joann Smith said she'd be proud to support the programme in future. "When I started I was really shy and feared public speaking. If it weren't for Ms. Tasha and Mr. Phil I'd never have found my voice and moved out of my comfort zone."
Another participant, Jerrin Carter, said the programme was the best training exercise he'd ever experienced and that he'd do it again if necessary.
Held over lunch at the Wharf Restaurant, the entire ceremony was hosted by four of the graduates. Others participated by delivering the welcome and vote of thanks, or contributed special songs, poetry and accolades.
Guest speaker, Training and Employment Minister, the Hon. Rolston Anglin, JP, told attendees that the programme's goal was to imitate life. "It's effort and attitude that result in good grades, effort and attitude which get you a good job, and it's also effort and attitude that will bring you that promotion.
"When you make a mistake in the real world you may get a second chance," he continued, "But if you mess-up a second time there will be consequences. You will be judged by your actions, so make sure that your public activities will not jeopardise your professional lives."
At the end of a ceremony that saw each graduate receive a completion certificate, eleven participants also walked away with Kirk Freeport-sponsored special awards.
Zackary Thomas, Kerryann Allen, Jonathan McLaughlin and Joann Smith were the awardees for perfect attendance, while Jerrin Carter, Rod Ramoon and Christopher Ebanks respectively took the most driven, greatest turnaround and spirit awards.
Adaila McField and Sassia Saunders were recognised as rising stars and Shadea McLaughlin and Jonathan McLaughlin were named 'leaders-in-the-making.' The most outstanding awards went to Joann Smith and Matthew Lewis.
Passport2Success is a free public-private funded initiative that targets young Caymanians aged 17-20 years, who are recent high school graduates and who have not yet found suitable employment.
The programme is co-sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Training and Employment, Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Ltd., CML Offshore Recruitment, and LIME Communications. Transportation for the program is donated by Webster's Tours Ltd.
Throughout the twelve-week programme guest speakers from Butterfield Bank, the Caledonian Group, the Education Ministry, Foster's Food Fair, KPMG, the Cayman Islands Red Cross, the Reef Resort, the Ritz Carlton and UBS made presentations. Entrepreneurs L.J. Garcia and Matthew Wight also contributed.
Additionally, programme participants attended a Department of Tourism PRIDE customer service workshop and visited Butterfield Bank, Cayman Free Press, the Courts, Health Services Authority and Reef Resort for site tours.
Companies providing work-placement are Appleby, Cayman Airways, Cayman Business Machines, Department of Environment, Foster's Food Fair, Health Services Authority, the Judicial Administration, Karma, Kirk Supermarket and Pharmacy, Launch Pad Enrichment Centre, the National Gallery, Ritz Carlton, Ministry of Finance, Tourism and Development, Papa John's and Wendy's. (GIS)