23 for nine

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Twenty-one Parkinson Memorial Secondary School students are now engaged in a Summer Internship Programme that has seen them stationed at nine businesses within the Goddard Enterprises Limited (GEL) group of companies.

The school’s Guidance Counsellor Mrs Julia Edey expressed gratitude to the company noting that it was the programme’s second year, and she urged the students to make full use of the opportunity which would be very beneficial to them. She said her comments were not only backed by Goddard’s reputation but was based on the feedback from last year’s batch of 15 students and their difference in attitude on returning to school.

“They returned more motivated about their future; more focused on their academic work and more enthusiastic,” she added. To illustrate the interest taken in the interns, Mrs Edey said the company had worked out a special work-school programme for a student who returned to school to do a few subjects and therefore had a lot of free periods. This helped the student to gather enough work experience to enhance his chances of gaining entry to the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology.

Mrs Edey was addressing an Orientation and Meet & Greet Session held at the school that was attended by the interns, their parents, School Principal Ian Holder, teachers, a team of GEL officials headed by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Anthony Ali and included representatives from each of the businesses where the students are based.

She said that GEL had hosted female and male students during International Women’s Day 2018 and from that interaction sprung a relationship which not only included last year’s internship programme but a much wider involvement of the company with the school.

Holder thanked GEL for its involvement, saying it was one of his happiest moments as a principal to welcome the relationship with GEL. He said the students in the programme were eager to be involved especially after hearing reports from the previous interns.

But he noted that besides the internship programme, GEL employees were involved in other areas and had painted part of the school and what he described as remarkable and a signal of the company’s intention was that the Group’s CEO was among those workers.

Attendees were also told that the relationship between the company and the school would have other branches beside internship. Group People Manager Ms Glenda Gilkes who spoke on employer expectations and the role of the mentor also touched on that relationship. She said staff had bought into the notion of assisting the school and had been donating part of their salary to the Parkinson Memorial Secondary School Fund. She added they will work with a local credit union to launch a student credit union which would be run by the students who will be trained and mentored to fulfil the required roles.

Overall, each speaker encouraged the students to make the most of the opportunity which was not available to others years ago and CEO Anthony Ali used two personal stories to highlight how mentors can positively affect children’s lives. (PR)

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