Some 13 wards of the State from the Maxfield Park Children’s Home recently benefited from a three-week career and success training course through the Junior Achievement Programme. The course saw the youngsters, ages 14 to 17 years participating in mock interviews and other interactive sessions to assist them in preparing for the job market.
The Youngsters’ participation was recognised at an appreciation ceremony held recently at the Home in Kingston. Thanking Junior Achievement Jamaica for launching the programme at the facility, Chief Executive Officer for the Child Development Agency (CDA), Rosalee Gage-Grey encouraged the youngsters to use the information wisely as they prepare for life outside of State care.
“Our aim is to help you to prepare for adulthood, and so we want you to arm yourselves with the information being provided by the Junior Achievement team, and consider yourselves privileged to be exposed to such a programme which will become useful when seeking jobs,” the CEO said. Giving details of the course, Director of Programmes for Junior Achievement Jamaica, Yanique Taylor explained that the programme was a career success programme which focused on work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.
“We were delighted to be onboard with the CDA, and are very excited that the Maxfield Park Children’s Home was selected to benefit from the programme, and soon (it will be) the Manning Child Care Facility in St. Elizabeth. Based on feedback from the children, we saw where they have benefitted immensely, because they are leaving this programme not just with knowledge, but also a portfolio containing vital information from each of the seven sessions in which they participated, which can be used as a reference as they move on to the next step of their journey in life,” she said.
Ms. Taylor also noted that the course was tailored specifically to prepare the youngsters for demanding careers relating to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Commenting on the Programme, Facilitator at Junior Achievement Jamaica, Zann Locke said that working with the participants at the Facility was a rather good experience, because she has seen remarkable results during the period.
“It was a worthwhile initiative because the participants are young and vibrant and very eager to learn. They were very receptive to the information and were always on time. They were exposed to a number of areas including interviewing techniques, personal branding, and how to prioritize by setting goals and working towards achieving them,” she said.
Relating her experience, beneficiary of the programme, Shereka Ford* said that she has learnt a lot, because the facilitator delivered the information clearly, and the sessions were very interactive and enjoyable.
“I learnt about critical thinking, problem solving, and how to dress and present myself for a job interview. I know that in the near future I will be looking for jobs, and what I have been exposed to will surely help me to get the job I need,” the youngster said.
Also providing feedback from the Programme, Stephen Williams* said that the programme has taught him a lot, because he has a better understanding of how to prepare and present himself for a job interview.
“I am able to prepare myself properly for an interview. I definitely know how to dress and speak and prepare my résumé for different jobs. I have information that I can read continuously about different career choices. I also have a clearer picture of my goals and how I will work towards achieving them to cope after leaving State care,” he said.
Giving the vote of thanks, Childcare Coordinator at the Facility, Richard Lawrence urged the youngsters to appreciate the value of the course, adding that, “A lot of institutions would want to benefit from such a programme, but out of many, Maxfield Park Children’s Home was chosen. I implore you to utilize the materials wisely as you prepare to exit State care and find a place in the society”.
Contact: Jeneva Gordon