Excelsior Community College serving Mountain View
A guiding principle of the Mountain View-based Excelsior Community College (ECC) is the empowerment of at-risk youth within the nine communities that surround the institution, according to ECC principal, Philmore McCarthy.
In commemorating Men's Day on International Day of Peace yesterday at the ECC campus along Mountain View Avenue in Kingston, McCarthy told The Gleaner that more than $3 million in scholarships is provided annually for community members to access various educational opportunities.
"The surest way to empower yourself is through education. Once someone is able to access education and training and develop technical skills, it can't be taken away. So we want to convince the community that this is here for them," said McCarthy.
The administrator argues that the institution has adopted a number of government programmes such as the Career Advancement Programme and Centre of Occupational Studies to the benefit of residents.
McCarthy continued: "The crime and violence in this area is not as bad as a lot of people think because we have that level of integration. We're like a melting pot. We provide that forum where everyone can feel comfortable and be recognised for what they want to contribute in terms of their personal development. Last year, we acquired our e-learning centre and a part of the arrangement is that we provide access for community members to get computer skills and to access the Internet. Likewise, our library facility is open six days a week."
A synergy with the Palisadoes Co-op Credit Union, the multimillion event targets men in the surrounding districts of the Mountain View area.
It seeks to provide solutions and resolutions to their issues, which include employment, conflict resolution, and skills training.
In addition to providing financial support to male residents, the Palisadoes Co-Op Credit Union will also assist with entrepreneurship training and provide other support for micro businesses until each owner is able to operate on his own.
The event also featured health checks, motivational sessions, counselling services, and applications for passports and birth certificates.