The 2018 staging of the Governor-General’s I Believe Initiative National Youth Consultative Conference (YCC) will seek to bring into sharp focus, the factors contributing to the mental wellness of young persons in the local context.

One thousand youth between the ages of 18-35 years are expected to converge at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James on October 25, where they will be provided a platform to share with their peers concerning issues facing young persons.

Presenters slated to participate in this year’s conference include: Prof. Wendel Abel, Head, Faculty of Medical Sciences – Community Health & Psychiatry at the University of the West Indies; Prof. Trevor Munroe, Executive Director of Jamaica’s National Integrity Action; Dr. Donovan Thomas, founder of Choose Life International as well as a representative from The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The Youth Consultative Conference (YCC) is one of the many programmes of the Governor-General’s I Believe Initiatives, predicated on using what’s right with Jamaica to fix what is wrong with Jamaica.

The Conference is staged annually and targets youth between the ages of 17 and 35 years. It provides a platform for youth to express their concerns, suggest ways in which they can be involved in organizations that promote the building of a nation and propose avenues and alternatives to solve problems.

Participants or delegates are selected by Custodes and their respective Parish Committees from educational institutions, civil society groups, community groups and other entities.

Hampton Student off to Monroe College

The Govenor-General’s 2018 IBI-Monroe Scholarship Recipient, Mickaylia Johnson Hampton Student, will commence reading for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Information Systems, which she will complete in 2022.

This four (4) year scholarship, is facilitated by a partnership between the Governor-General’s I Believe Initiative (IBI) and New York based Monroe College which began in 2014 and so far a total of three (3) students have benefitted from the initiative.

Commenting on her selection, Johnson indicated “It’s a dream come true and I’m really happy and grateful for the opportunity to be able to take the next step toward achieving my goals”.

She further added that her decision to venture into Computer Studies resulted from an enduring interest in all things technology related and that she is very excited about the possibilities that lie ahead.

Monroe College is a highly ranked tertiary institution which currently offers higher level education in areas such as Criminal Justice, Nursing, Information Technology, Nursing, Education, Hospitality Management, Culinary Arts among others.

IBI is an arm of the Governor-General’s Programme for Excellence which seeks to recognize and promote excellence as well as empower Jamaicans to attain their maximum potential.

The IBI which was launched in 2011 is driven by its mantra: ‘using what is right with Jamaica to fix what is wrong’

Students eligible to apply for a scholarship through the programme include high school graduates who have attained at least 7 high-level Caribbean Secondary Examinations Council (CSEC) passes as well as three high level Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) passes.

The next round of selections will take place in July 2019 for the 2019-20 academic year.

Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen (3rd left) shares smiles with scholarship recipient, Mickaylia Johnson (3rd right); Custos of St. Elizabeth, the Hon. Beryl Rochester (2nd left); Johnson’s mother, Shernette Brown (2nd right); IBI Ambassador, Alethia Peart (right) and Chairman Adjudicating Panel, Peter Goldson (left) on September 11, 2018.Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen (3rd left) shares smiles with scholarship recipient, Mickaylia Johnson (3rd right); Custos of St. Elizabeth, the Hon. Beryl Rochester (2nd left); Johnson’s mother, Shernette Brown (2nd right); IBI Ambassador, Alethia Peart (right) and Chairman Adjudicating Panel, Peter Goldson (left) on September 11, 2018.

Twelve Students Awarded Scholarships And Grants Under I Believe Summer Of Service Programme

Their Excellencies, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen (10th left) and the Most Hon. Lady Allen (10th right), along with recipients and sponsors of the Summer of Service awards during the presentation ceremony at King’s House on Tuesday (August 21).
Her Excellency the Most Hon. Lady Allen and scholarship recipient, Kerone Miller shares smiles at the 2018 SOS Presentation Ceremony on August 21,2018.

His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen (centre) shares lens with scholarship recipients, Brittania Derby (left) and Melissa Edwards (right) after the 2018 SOS Competition Presentation Ceremony at Kings’s House on August 21,2018.


Twelve tertiary students received over $5M in scholarships and grants yesterday at King’s House as part of the Governor-General’s Summer of Service Programme under the I Believe Initiative.

The students who are enrolled in institutions such as the University of the West Indies, University of Technology, Caribbean Maritime University and College of Agriculture, Science and Education were awarded through the competition which recognizes students for outstanding voluntary work undertaken during the Summer holiday period.

Speaking at the awards function, Governor-General, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen encouraged the awardees to continue to foster a culture of volunteerism as an avenue for self-development and national growth.

“Those who want to live meaningfully and well must help to enrich the lives of others. The fact is, none of us truly wins until we all win,” stated His Excellency.

He further encouraged the youngsters to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves; considering not only the possible financial gains but the wealth of experience to be garnered.

The students who received awards during the ceremony were: Ashera Barron, Ashley Bernard, Samantha Forrester, James Peart, Jastine Smith, Samantha Webb, and Magali Williams who will pursue studies at The University of the West Indies, Mona; Stephanie Wright, Northern Caribbean University; Kerone Miller, The Mico University; Brittania Derby and Mellisa Edwards who will attend the Caribbean Maritime University; and Phillip Griffiths, University of Technology.

The scholarships and grants were made available through sponsorships from: NCB Foundation, Derrimon Trading Company; Newport Fersan Jamaica Limited; the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China; Kingston Bookshop; Caribbean Maritime University; and First Regional Co-operative Credit Union.

‘Blend of Experience And Youthful Ingenuity Will Sustain And Grow Agriculture’- Governor-General

His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen (left) and outgoing Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) President, Norman Grant (centre), greet 15-year-old livestock farmer, Matthew Thomas (right), at the Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show in Clarendon on Sunday (August 5, 2018).


Governor-General of Jamaica, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, has hailed the players in the agricultural sector as well as the executive body of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) for their continued efforts in improving and renewing the sector over the years.

His Excellency was delivering the main address at the recently concluded, 66th staging of the Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show in May Pen, Clarendon on Sunday, August 5.

The Governor-General, who is patron for Denbigh, indicated that the sector has continued to make progress despite the many challenges and outlined that a successful marriage of the innovativeness of the youth and the spirit of cooperation of the more experienced players will create an unstoppable force in the development.

“I am encouraged by the exploits of young farmers such as fifteen-year-old Matthew Thomas, livestock owner from Rhynsbury whose efforts have yielded excellent rewards, and the creative young people from the Heart Trust who will carry the baton into the future,” noted Sir Patrick.

Thomas’ Brahman bull which weighs a total of 1,740 pounds copped the top prize in its category at the show.

His Excellency went on to urge stakeholders to ensure greater levels of support from both public and private sectors for locally produced goods, while the industry ensures quality standards and required quantities to maximize gains in the industry.

Outgoing President of the JAS, Senator Norman Grant, used the opportunity to thank the members of his team for their support and assured incoming President, Lenworth Fullton that a strong support structure is in place to assist him to effectively discharge his duties.

“Our achievements over the years have been many, but there is still much ground left to cover,” noted Senator Grant.

The industry, he added, is currently satisfying merely a quarter of the local demand for produce and noted that more needs to be done in the near future to increase output in an effort to keep the revenue within our local economy.

Grant noted however the ‘Grow What We Eat, Eat What We Grow” campaign by the JAS has been tremendously impactful to the economy, resulting in savings of over $500M over the last 14 years.

He also hastened to point out that the Denbigh Agricultural Show has grown exponentially over the last number of years and been able to generate revenue activity in the sector in the region of $1B.

The Show boasted over 100 booths showcasing a number of agricultural products and services ranging from plant products and chemicals to equipment and financial services.

Governor – General Encourages Revolutionary Training At The University Of Technology

His Excellency The Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen delivering the 60th Anniversary Distinguished Public Lecture at the University of Technology Jamaica, Papine Campus on July 12,2018.


Governor – General Sir Patrick Allen has challenged the University of Technology (UTech) to continue revolutionizing education for the Millennials whom the University will have to train for the 21st century.

Presenting UTech’s  60th Anniversary Distinguished Lecture on Thursday, July 12, The Governor-General observed that in this technological age, graduates have to be exposed to new efficiencies in the way in which persons communicate, provide services and execute plans.

Speaking on the theme, “Promoting Excellence to Enhance Development: Pioneering Past; Bright Future”, The Governor-General commended UTech for being pioneers in providing tertiary training in science, technology, and innovation.

Sir Patrick Allen pointed out that, “The education of the next generation must evaluate the impact of new technologies on our lives to ensure improvements and new inventions support our ethos.”

Commenting on the need for excellence at the national, corporate and personal levels, His Excellency Sir Patrick Allen emphasized the importance of the core values of excellence and the value of education as a basis for sustainable development.  “Each person has an individual and collective responsibility to promote excellence that will impact development. . . Leaders in the field of education have an obligation to promote excellence to influence the consistent application of core values in their lives, engagements and professional practice,” he noted.

Stressing the importance of the pursuit of excellence to enhance development, and ensure a ‘bright future’, The Governor-General said that Jamaica had a history of achieving and promoting excellence.  He urged UTech to continue building on the foundation of good ethics and technological excellence while identifying even more substantial ways to promote higher standards.

The Lecture is part of a year-long series of events organized by the University to celebrate its 60th anniversary.