Help transform western Ja, Reid urges UWI ambassadors
Minister of Education, Youth and Information Senator Ruel Reid has called on the new cohort of ambassadors appointed by the University of the West Indies, Mona - Western Jamaica Campus (WJC), to help transform the western end of the island.
Reid made the call at the installation ceremony last Friday at Sandals Montego Bay for 12 power brokers of the business community who will serve as members of the UWI-WJC Ambassadorial Corps for the next two years.
"I believe this is a good platform through which the university can influence the wider community," Reid told the gathering, stating that he was seeking their help in pulling sections of the society from the brink of implosion.
"We all have to join and fix the problems," he argued, adding that the root cause of the country's social, political and economic problems was a result of negative and destructive values and attitudes.
"If we fix this as a country, we will be well on our way to becoming a developed country by 2030, the place of choice to live, raise families and do business."
At the heart of this vision, he told the new ambassadors, was the transformation of the society.
The 12, drawn from the parishes of Trelawny, St James and Hanover, all boast a track record of commendable contribution to nation building.
They include developer and attorney-at-law Paula Kerr-Jarrett; AMSTAR's managing director, Richard Bourke; president of the Montego Bay Chamber and Industry, Gloria Henry; guest services director at the Tryall Club, Richard Ferdinand; VIP Attraction's David Hall, and Sandals Resorts International's director, Wayne Cummings.
Rounding out the group are Artsmiths Interiors' Kathryn May; Solo Jamaica's Laura Mazabel; Royalton White Sands' Kerry-Ann Quallo-Casserly; MBJ Airports Limited's Sitara Byfield; Deja Vu's Rajesh Kripalani; and Chukka's John Byles.
Cementing the call by the education minister, WJC acting campus director Patrick Prendergast said the new team has had sustained positive contribution to the development of the city of Montego Bay.
"They (ambassadors) are generally in tune with our own mission of building partnerships and development."
Heartened by the Ambassa-dorial Corps and the impact their involvement has had on the wider community, pro vice chancellor and principal of the UWI, Professor Archibald McDonald, in his message described the Ambassadorial Corps initiative as outstanding.
"It also illustrates, once again, the UWI's commitment to empowering our youth to become the strong and formidable leaders of our nation's future."
According to McDonald, the new cohort represents some of the regions brightest and most trailblazing and who have exemplified the ideal qualities of real movers and shakers in their respective industries.