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Junior Achiever Calls for Public and Private Sector to Support Youth

Published:Friday | June 5, 2015 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill
Makeda Henry, grade five student of Allman Town Primary presents her keynote speech to an audience of more than 200 persons at the third annual Junior Achievement Champions for Youth Awards at the Knutsford Court Hotel.

"I encourage the Ministry of Education, public- and private-sector companies present here tonight to continue being examples for others to follow, to go the extra mile for our youth to excel," urged fifth-grade student Makeda Henry.

She was delivering the keynote address at Junior Achievement Jamaica's (JAJ) third annual Champions for Youth Awards Banquet and Silent Auction held at The Knutsford Court Hotel recently.

Standing just over four feet tall, Henry, who is a student of Allman Town Primary School, delivered her speech from atop a makeshift stage, with abundant confidence to an audience that included Education Minister Ronald Thwaites and JAJ board chairman Paul Lalor.


fair chance


Henry's speech focused on three points, including what children need in the education process as children being educated, what they want to achieve and how they will change the world. "We need an education system that is tailored to the realities of the environment we live in, and we are not just speaking of our communities or our nation, but the world at large," she said.

With the audience nodding in agreement, Henry called on the Ministry of Education to give every child a fair chance, especially those with a challenging socio-economic background. She encouraged parents to prioritise the provision of tools that children need to be successful students, and she also encouraged teachers to be more punctual and see their jobs as an opportunity to actively play a part in shaping the future.

In the audience were the 14 teacher awardees that were being honoured for their exceptional role in delivering Junior Achievement programmes. Also in attendance were representatives from companies and organisations honoured by JAJ, namely, the Ministry of Education, United States Agency for International Development, Citi Foundation, Caribbean Broilers, EY, GraceKennedy, High Commission of Canada, JN Fund Managers, Flow Jamaica, GB Energy Jamaica, Guardsman Group, Insurance Company of the West Indies, Jamaica Public Service, Jamaica Yellow Pages, LIME Foundation, NCB Foundation, Scotiabank, Spanish Court Hotel, CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, Financial Services Commission, Gleaner Company, General Electric, Jamaica Information Service, and Jamaica Flour Mills.