Fri | Sep 30, 2022

GK interns promise to be ambassadors for Jamaica

Published:Friday | August 2, 2019 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill/Senior Gleaner Writer
Don Wehby (centre), group chief executive officer, GraceKennedy Limited, talks with (from left) Tarik Graham of Florida; Kayla Jessup, New York; Sapphira Thompson-Bled, Canada; and Callum McCarthy from London, all interns in the GraceKennedy Birthright Programme.

From diving in the crystal-clear waters of YS Falls in St Elizabeth to walking the meandering paths of the Green Grotto Caves in St Ann and rafting on the Martha Brae River in Trelawny, among a myriad of other professional and cultural activities, the GracKennedy Foundation 2019 Birthright interns had a blast coming full circle in learning about Jamaica.

In a closing ceremony held at the organisation’s Harbour Street head offices on Tuesday, the interns expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to delve into various aspects of Jamaica’s cultural legacy and experience the many activities that the island has to offer.

The four students, Kayla Jessup and Tarik Graham of University of Chicago and Harvard University in the USA, respectively; Sapphira Thompson-Bled of University of Ottawa, Canada; and Callum McCarthy of Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, said following the experience, they plan to become ambassadors for Jamaica when they return to their respective countries.

“I had visited Jamaica once before, but I did not have the experience I have had on the Birthright Programme. Now I have my own experiences and own stories to share with future generations,” McCarthy said.

The Cambridge University student, who worked with Dairy Industries as a project engineer/intern, said he was elated that he had first-hand experience in the manufacturing of cheese, yoghurt and other products made by the company.

“It was a really great experience to see where my family is from,” said Kayla Jessup. She worked in the legal department at GraceKennedy Limited and focused on areas such as data protection, data security and regulation, and corporate responsibility, among others.

Meanwhile, Thompson-Bled, and Graham were able to learn about GraceKennedy Limited. For Graham, it was his first professional experience, and while he worked at GK Capital, he was able to read financial statements, calculate accounting ratios and methods for financing loans.

Thompson-Bled interpreted legislation and participated in internal company research.

In hosting the students, GraceKennedy Limited partners with several public- and private-sector entities which have a vested interest in nation-building.

Find out more about this exciting internship at