March 6, 2014
A very good morning to you all!
Lady Allen and I warmly endorse the welcome already extended by Ambassador Coye. Permit me, though, to recognize friends of the “I Believe” Initiative, and in a special way, James and Manuela Goren, who are visiting King’s House for the first time. The Goren’s opened their home to Lady and me when we went to Hanover to promote the IBI to a group of philanthropists at Tryall and Round Hill Hotels. That was the first time we were meeting and it is clear that the relationship begun then facilitated the Gorens’ co-sponsorship of this IBI scholarship. So welcome Mr. & Mrs. Goren.
We began our relationship with Monroe College in November last year when a delegation comprised of Vice President Anthony Allen and Dr. Geneive Brown Metzger called on me. Dr.. Brown Metzger is a good friend of the IBI and I have to thank her for the introduction to both the Gorens and also to Monroe College. Those of you who know her, appreciate that when she commits to anything, she gives her very best and that includes the agreements which led to the offer of this scholarship. I am particularly pleased therefore to welcome Dr. Carty, Dr. Wright and Dr. Brown Metzger to King’s House today.
Back in 2012, as we prepared for the IBI County Consultative Conferences, we determined that a primary focus for the development of youth in the context of the IBI would be entrepreneurship and technology. This was born out of our concern that a large number of youth were graduating from universities and colleges and were not finding employment. Additionally, many youth have natural skills in the field of information technology- and he term, I believe were referred to them as was “digital natives”- but they lack the opportunity to develop these skills to certification level. We therefore began to seek ways to encourage qualified, talented youth to consider creating their own businesses, including in technology. We also sought to network with business persons with a view to getting assistance for our youth to be trained in IT.
Happily, several Jamaican companies have come on board and supported our three one-week intensive courses in Animation which we offered last year in partnership with the UTECH, UWI and the NCU, Toon Boom Animations and GSW Animations. This year the IBI, with some donations from the Jamaican Diaspora in Canada, has assisted three students of the first ever Animate Jamaica programme offered at the UWI-CARIMAC.
I am very pleased that several of our “I Believe” Ambassadors are entrepreneurs, some of them in the field of IT. They mentor youth and use their own life experiences to demonstrate to youth that believing in one’s God-given potential, a readiness to work hard and learn from each experience, plus a steady focus on one’s goals, are proven keys to success. A few of them have managed to carve out some time to be with us this morning and I acknowledge their presence in our midst.
Last month, in this same hall, I was pleased to launch the IBI-endorsed scholarship offered by the Jamaica National Foundation and the University of Birmingham, for a Masters in Business programme tenable at that University as of October 2014. Through other partnerships, the IBI has facilitated tertiary education for a number of bright, but financially strapped students and some of those partners are here this morning. Please help me acknowledge our valued partners who are here to share in today’s scholarship launch. (Gleaner, Fosrich, Scotiabank, Newport Fersan.)
Today, we are here to launch a four-year Bachelor’s degree programme tenable at the New Rochelle Campus of Monroe College, New York, beginning in August of this year. In the partnership which has enabled this scholarship, Monroe provides the tuition and the Gorens will cover accommodation and related costs. I am deeply grateful to both sponsors and hope that we can count on them to continue participating in the development of our human resources to first world levels.
The IBI will interview the shortlisted candidates and select the winning candidate who meets the admission requirements. In this task, I shall be ably assisted by the Secretary of the Rhodes Scholarship Committee, Mr. Peter Goldson, who is here today.
The IBI also assumed responsibility for promoting the scholarship and I must thank the JIS, The Gleaner Company and The Observer for having so generously supported us in that regard.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The winning candidate will be required to return to Jamaica to work for a minimum of three years. He or she must contribute to the building up our expertise in information technology. We are promoting training in IT because we are convinced of its relevance to Jamaica’s development now and in the future.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Lady Allen and I take great pleasure in launching the IBI- Monroe College- James and Manuela Goren Scholarship in the field of Information technology. I hope that this will redound to the benefit of our nation and our youth.