Many successful journalists got their start in the newspaper business at an early age with paper routes.
The publisher, editor, sports editor and other staff of the Caymanian Compass began learning work ethics with newspaper routes as youngsters.
That is why it is so refreshing to see so many young Caymanians answering the call to sell Caymanian Compass newspapers on the roadsides of George Town.
There have been some on Grand Cayman who have complained about the practice, even threatening to have police action taken against this newspaper.
But even the assistant police commissioner in a chat with the editor said how much he appreciated the service and the fact that this newspaper is teaching young Caymanians work ethics.
By allowing children to discover opportunities and helping them understand what it takes to succeed we as a community are bestowing one of the best gifts we can.
Learning how to succeed is one of life’s great lessons.
Many parents and members of the community underestimate their ability to teach youngsters about career preparation. More often than not we leave it up to the educational system. The business community must work with the educational system to help produce well rounded individuals.
We’re already seeing a need to bring in foreign nationals to fill top employment positions. If many of those businesses in need today had taken the opportunity a couple of decades ago to groom and grow a Caymanian child for a career, the country might not have found itself in the position it is now.
The simple newspaper route or selling on a street corner is still done in communities throughout the world. It is a sure bet that most of those children will grow up to become successful business men and women.
Many students in the Cayman Islands participate in job shadowing programmes. That’s a good start, but it isn’t enough.
Getting youngsters involved in business will help them learn fundamental business skills, help them gain business experience and further develop their confidence and self esteem. Junior Achievement already has a programme that sets children up with their own businesses. For that, they are to be commended and encouraged to keep up the good work.
It can also instil lasting characteristics like work ethic, values, community involvement and charitable giving.
It’s never too early to get a kid on the right track to choosing a career.