Matalon hails YUTE Teach graduates as hope for Jamaica’s future
ICD Group Chairman Joseph Matalon, who also chairs the group’s MultiCare Youth Foundation (MYF), has hailed the newest graduates of the foundation’s life-changing projects as a bright ray of hope for Jamaica.
“You are now the change agents our country will look to, you are the champions we have faith in, and you are the glimmer of hope for the future prosperity of our people. Thank you for being part of the proud legacy of the MultiCare Youth Foundation,” he said. “My sincere and heartiest congratulations to the YUTE Teach Class of 2021.”
The 30 graduates withstood the multiple challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and an abrupt switch to mostly virtual learning, while 10 students dropped out for those and other reasons. These had completed 18 difficult months of academic and practical studies, plus enrichment components, to gain Level 2 HEART/NSTA certification in early childhood development. They were justifiably proud at their convocation ceremony last Friday, held virtually.
Launched on October 2019, The MYF’s 18 month YUTE Teach Project is the brain child of a former Foundation manager Roger Graham. It is also designed to offer training to young people from such communities, so they could participate in providing vital strengthening for early childhood education in their own neighbourhoods.
MEETING CHALLENGES HEAD-ON
“Resilience is not just about recovering from setbacks; I would suggest it is also about never giving up on your objectives; meeting the challenges head-on and overcoming them; and arriving, perhaps via a different route, at the outcomes we seek,” Matalon said. “A significant challenge we had to overcome was that of the pandemic, and by now we can all agree that a pandemic changes everything. And it did. Everything, that is, except your determination to continue the pursuit of your goals.”
YUTE Teach graduates and their online guests were welcomed at the graduation ceremony by MYF Executive Director Alicia Glasgow Gentles. Among those joining the ICD Chairman in addressing them was MYF Director, educator Dr Renee Rattray, sponsors; representatives and Dainty Thomas Green, community training interventions officer, HEART/NSTA Trust The ceremony was chaired by Sharlene Brooks, MYF project officer.
YUTE Teach is supported by a over $26 million in funding. Sponsors of the YUTE Teach project are the ICD Group. HEART/NSTA Trust American Friends of Jamaica, Australian High Commission Direct Aid Programme, the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation, the JPS Foundation, Jamaica Urban Transit Company Limited, Fidelity Motors Limited and the Early Childhood Commission.