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Ardenne sixth-formers get invaluable insight

Published:Wednesday | September 30, 2015 | 12:00 AMDaviot Kelly
Sixth-form students of Ardenne High share a picture with former head boy of Ardenne High, Dave Rodney (front row, fifth right) and current principal Nadine Molloy (front row, fifth left), during a Sixth Form Development Hour session at the school last Wednesday.
Sixth-form students at Ardenne waiting to pose questions after Dave Rodney's presentation.
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Already one of Jamaica's most revered learning institutions, the administration at Ardenne High is seeking to enhance the potential of its sixth-form body.

Sixth-form development hour has been established by principal Nadine Molloy to give the students a wider perspective of the world. Last Wednesday, past student Dave Rodney, media marketing specialist and co-president of New York-based media marketing firm Images LLC, addressed 300 students. Rodney, a former head boy at Ardenne, spoke about the value of entrepreneurship and self-reliance. He has high praise for his alms mater.

"I think I speak for the entire Ardenne community, at home and abroad, when I say that we are profoundly thrilled about the continuous growth here at Ardenne," he said. "I happen to know that the competing schools around Kingston and Jamaica are wondering in awe if Ardenne is on steroids why the school is able to bring home such excellent results from its external examinations and still win just about every single competition known to man."

Rodney, a multilingual, media-marketing consultant, author, and freelance writer, revealed that his entrepreneurship skills were honed right at Ardenne when he was asked to teach Spanish at Ardenne Extension. He then took those skills to Ardenne Prep, offering to teach those children Spanish on a Saturday. So he was making his own money while still a student. He encouraged the sixth-formers to use their own creative energies rather than sit and wait for job opportunities.

"The world around us is changing rapidly," he said, noting that job security was more fragile. "So having straight As in the subjects you're doing is a great way to go. But a most important skill to have alongside your academic training is the option of using your entrepreneurship not just to survive, but also to prosper." He said this starts with having a dream and involves much drive and passion.

"Each one of you here today is a bright spark and a potential trailblazer," he said. "If you weren't, you wouldn't be sitting here." Rodney encouraged the students to envision where they wanted to be in the future and to identify their passion.

"Whatever it is, always have a sense of entrepreneurship because that will make you stronger, smarter. It will make you more productive and more relevant to the ever-changing digital age," he said. Rodney challenged them to stay ahead of the game.

Students asked a variety of questions ranging from the object of Rodney's passion to which countries would lead the next business revolution. Rodney also announced plans to award a trophy, in alternate years, for the top performer in science and a foreign language at CAPE level.

daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com