Chad Bryan, Youthlink Writer
The recently concluded Dream Jamaica summer programme for inner-city youth, which spanned four weeks and which took place at the University of the West Indies' Mona campus, has been hailed as a complete success.
Executive director of the Dream Jamaica programme, Michelle Rankine, declared, "The camp was great. It's the biggest we've had so far, and because we're in our fifth year it was good to see past members, who have graduated from high school and who are now at the tertiary level, go on to be camp representatives."
The programme targeted Corporate Area high-school students between ages 12 and 19 who were selected based on their leadership potential; participants were organised into different groups - exploration, career discovery, college prep and internship - based on their ages. In the exploration group which featured students in the early stages of high school, students were able to benefit from the expertise of various presenters who chose interesting topics, much to their delight. Entrepreneur Oliver Mair shared characteristics of entrepreneurship such as the management of money, creating a competitive edge and becoming an entrepreneur in general. This was followed by activities to further immerse the students in the lesson. Communication specialist Dr Marcia Forbes presented on the ICT sector and warned students about the dangers of posting material deemed sensitive to social networking sites.
At the summer camp's closing ceremony, which was held at the Mona Visitors' Lodge, keynote speaker Tyrone Wilson, CEO of eMedia Interactive Limited, delivered an inspiring address and reminded those present that "everything starts with a dream and a dream should not just remain a dream"; this seemed to have resonated in the minds of the participants.
The closing ceremony featured performances by Dream Jamaica participants Christopher Reid, Jordan Gordon, Shalrick Stanford, Kimani Douglas, Jehu Graham and Davion Lewin, some of whom had received awards during a previous talent contest. Other awards were given to participants and volunteers in the form of certificates of completion and participation.
Nissan Jamaica, Coldfield Manufacturing, Tastee Jamaica Limited, Jamaica National Building Society, Jamaican Teas and Microsoft were some of the sponsors of the Dream Jamaica Camp. The Gleaner Company Limited, National Youth Service, Honey Bun and the University of the West Indies were on board as partners.