From its inception in 2002, Mentoring Cayman has evolved into one of the Islands most promising youth programmes. Each year, top achieving Year 11 high school students from both the public and private sector are invited to participate in the programme and then carefully matched with executive level mentors.
Mentoring can be offered at many different levels, from the practical aspects of day-to-day matters to the provision of motivation and inspiration. Mentoring at its core is a developmental, caring, sharing and helping relationship where one person invests their time, know-how and effort in increasing and improving another person’s growth, knowledge and skills.
The Chamber of Commerce was able to successfully pair 57 students with mentors for the 2008/2009 programme, which began in November 2008 with the introduction between students, their parents and mentors at the opening reception. At the beginning of the evening, both the mentor and their protégé were a little anxious about the person they would later be paired with, but as the evening went on it was clear by the smiles and laughter that everyone was at ease and looking forward to the time they would later spend with each other.
To prepare mentors for the unique experience that lay ahead, the Chamber organised a workshop designed to provide participants with the knowledge, skills and understanding required to sustain a successful mentoring relationship with young people. Professional facilitator Mr. Rod Waddell focused on three areas: Understanding different personalities and how they interact with one another; Careers and how to assist students with matching their personal and academic strengths to potential career paths; and Offering Encouragement. During the half-day workshop, repeat volunteer mentors were able to share their experiences with new mentors, which added to the success of the training experience.
During the programme year, two social sessions were organised: a luncheon at The Wharf Restaurant with guest speaker Elroy Bryan, current YCLA recipient and 2008 Recipient of the Chamber of Commerce Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching; and an evening catamaran cruise.
The year culminated will all mentors and mentees being officially recognised for completing the programme at the closing reception held at Government House by Governor Stuart Jack, who serves as Patron of Mentoring Cayman.
This year’s participating mentors came from a variety of industries and backgrounds. Occupations in banking, law, interior design, art, medicine, journalism, insurance, accounting, automotive, marketing and financial services are but a few that were represented within the Mentoring Cayman programme. Mentors from the following companies took part in the Programme: AIP Limited, Appleby, Atlas Insurance, BNP Paribas, Butterfield, Cable & Wireless, Cayman National, CITN, CML Offshore Recruitment, Dart Realty, Dart Enterprises, DDL Studio, DE Technology, dms Organisation, Ernst & Young, The Furniture Depot, Greenlight RE, Grand Cayman Beach Suites, Health Services Authority, Kelly Holdings, KPMG, Krys & Associates, Maples Finance, Mike’s Ice, Mourant, National Gallery, OBM International, RBC Trust Company, Saxon Administration, Samson & McGrath, UBS Fund Services, Vision Marketing, Vampt Motors and Walkers.
The Chamber of Commerce extends its gratitude to the talented, experienced and knowledgeable individuals who volunteered their time to be mentors in this programme as well as the businesses that have shown their support by allowing senior staff to participate in Mentoring Cayman. “We thank them for their generosity and community spirit. By looking forward to our youth’s future development, these businesses will surely see the rewards in a new generation of industry leaders. Our young people are the future of not only our country, but also of our core industries,” said Mrs. Joanne Diaz-Berry, programmes and events manager.
Business leaders and senior managers of companies are invited to make a wise investment with their time and respond to the challenge of becoming a mentor. The new programme will begin in September 2009 and interested persons may download an application from www.caymanchamber.ky
Companies interested in sponsoring the Mentoring Cayman Programmme, or anyone seeking more information, should contact Mrs. Diaz-Berry at the Chamber of Commerce on [email protected]