Governor-General congratulates IBI Ambassadors

Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen has congratulated the four (4) I Believe Initiative Ambassadors who are among 19 Jamaicans recently awarded the 2019 Chevening Scholarships to study in the United Kingdom. The Ambassadors visited King’s House on a Courtesy Call on Friday, August 23.

Observing that obtaining the Scholarships came with great academic input and involvement in social and volunteer activities, The Governor-General told the students he was very proud of their achievements.  He expressed confidence that they would build capacity and return to Jamaica stronger to give back more.

The scholarship recipients paid tribute to the impact of the IBI Programme on their lives in generating a passion to help other young people improve themselves.  Each of the Ambassadors is involved in a youth-related project and they gave The Governor-General a brief update on the current status of their activities.

Najuequa Barnes, an educator, will pursue an MSc degree in International Development at the University of Manchester. Her IBI project focused on low-income communities where there were marginalized young men, many of whom men were fatherless and school dropouts. The outreach programme assisted in their enrollment in skills-training programmes, and they were assigned mentors to assist with their development. Miss Barnes said there were encouraging responses from parents who saw positive behavioural changes in their sons.

Dyane Haughton, who is an information Technology Security Analyst at the Bank of Jamaica, will pursue the M.Sc. degree in Digital Business and Innovation at the University of Westminster with an emphasis on  Forensics, Cyber Security, and Centralized Government Packages.  Mr. Haughton is a PhD Candidate at the University of the West Indies, specializing in General Building and Financial Debt Management.

Mr. Haughton is the chair for IBI – St James, where he recently completed a summer project in the ZOSO areas in Montego Bay.  This included a night football competition between members of the community members against members of the Police Force. He said the event created great camaraderie between both parties.

He also plans to assist young men in the communities to engage in HEART Programmes and received certification. His goal is to channel the young men’s intellectual skills towards positive things instead of participating in negative activities.

Tishauna Mullings, a social entrepreneur, will study Development Administration and Planning at the University College of London.  Miss Mullings, who is a Life Coach, wants to provide educational opportunities in her home Parish of St Thomas.  She is the founder of the annual Little Genius Competition that seeks to develop good values and social awareness in children.

Abrahim Simmonds, a technical officer for the USAID-LINKAGES project, will pursue a M.Sc. degree in Health Informatics at the Swansea University in Wales. Mr. Simmonds is the Youth Representative on the Board of The Governor-General Jamaica Trust and is chairman of the Information Technology and Communication Committee.

The Ambassadors assured Sir Patrick that they had made the necessary arrangements and the programmes would continue while they were away.  The Governor-General wished the Ambassadors well in their studies and said he looked forward to the increased contribution they would make on their return to Jamaica