With the new academic year comes a new year of positive intervention for youngsters attending the Positive Intervention Now programme, an after-school programme developed by the Education and Youth Committee of St. George’s Anglican Church that caters for young people who attend George Town Primary School.
Volunteers from PwC signed up to assist in helping to guide the youngsters for their fourth year of service, donating financial support and also their time and energy into keeping the programme alive.
As well as giving financial assistance to ensure that a facilitator is able to continue to work with the young people, PwC have also donated three laptops to help with homework assignments, an important part of the after school programme.
In addition, volunteers from PwC spend Wednesday afternoons mentoring the youngsters, which includes helping with their homework as well as introducing fun new projects for the students to work on. Youngsters attend the PIN programme from 3 to 6pm every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week, enjoying a hot meal as well as learning skills such as table etiquette, art projects, sports and sewing.
Angilynn Baraud, PwC’s Assurance and Business Development Manager, has been actively involved in coordinating the firm’s efforts to assist the PIN programme.
Mrs. Baraud confirms PwC decided this year to broaden their input. “While PwC has been delighted to be able to support the PIN programme over the last four years, we decided this year to increase our involvement by ensuring that the youngsters benefitted from mentoring by our staff as well,” she says. “We have enjoyed devising fun projects to spark the youngsters’ imaginations and we have begun this term with a photography project. We have given all participants a disposable camera and asked them to take photos with their cameras for a week. We are going to then have the youngsters display their best photographic work in a collage which we will then judge in a competition. The project has been received with considerable enthusiasm so far.”
PIN Coordinator Marlene Ricketts said that the PIN programme could not function properly without the input from corporate sponsors such as PwC. This year in particular, she said, she has been overwhelmed by the firm’s decision to help out further.
“Having the volunteers come and spend their time helping the youngsters is of invaluable benefit.”
Ms Ricketts said that even though they are only a short way into the programme, the young people, all aged around 11 years, have already got to know the PwC volunteers and “light up” when they see them each week.
“Having people come from the corporate world and spend time with our students makes the important connection for the young people between the business world – which sometimes seems very far off to them – and themselves. They see the human side to these big companies, which really brings the companies into the community,” she said. “It is extremely positive all round.”
Having the additional volunteer assistance means the young people can receive more individual attention, which can only help with their development, she says. The programme deliberately targets youngsters who are just about to embark on adolescence, a crucial time in a young person’s life when positive intervention can make all the difference between leading a productive and happy life or not, Ms Ricketts noted. Through the PIN programme youngsters obtain assistance in all aspects of their development – emotional, spiritual and intellectual – before they get to an age when positive intervention is not so effective.
Frazer Lindsay, PwC Cayman Islands’ Territory Senior Partner, says that PwC is committed to ensuring that the PIN programme continues to be able to help young people in this way.
“We believe that the PIN programme is an effective way to reach Cayman’s youth at an early enough age to help them on the path to future success. We applaud Ms Ricketts for her efforts and are extremely happy to be able to support her in this worthy cause.”