51 participants learn from their Chamber mentors

Another successful Chamber of Commerce Mentoring Cayman Programme saw 51 students learn and grow with their mentors.

They celebrated their accomplishments at a ceremony recently at the Governor’s residence.

Welcoming remarks were delivered by Acting Governor Franz Manderson and President-Elect of the Chamber Johann Moxam. Minister of Health, Sports, Youth and Culture Osbourne Bodden addressed the group on behalf of his ministry. Certificates and tokens to mentors were presented to each participant and closing remarks for the evening were provided by Ms Tiffany Dixon-Ebanks, programmes manager at the Chamber.

“Mentoring Cayman provides a simple, yet winning, formula. It brings high school students together with business leaders. Such a programme is an obvious means of helping to address some of the issues that our Islands have experienced in relation to training, education and manpower development,” said Mr. Bodden.

He further added, “All indicators, including this year’s record number of participants, suggest that the Chamber’s Mentoring Cayman initiative is firmly entrenched among the extracurricular offerings that our community makes available to young people. I want to congratulate The Chamber on another successful year for this programme, and I also congratulate the mentees, schools, parents and other supporters, for making this initiative a success.”

Wil Pineau, Chamber of Commerce CEO said, “I’d like to thank all participants for participating in the Mentoring Cayman programme. It was a record year with more students and volunteers completing the programme than ever before. Mentoring can be a life changing experience that can transform both the mentors and students. If you are interested in helping to share your wisdom and advice with a high achieving high school student in our public and private sector schools I would encourage you to volunteer. It is one of the best ways to help our students to succeed.”

This session of the Mentoring Programme began in November 2012 with an opening session where parents and students were briefed on the initiative. Each year, top achieving Year 10/11 high school students from both the public and private sector are invited to participate in the programme and are then carefully matched with executive level mentors. The Chamber organised a workshop in conjunction with professional facilitator Rod Waddell to provide participants with the knowledge, skills and understanding required to sustain a successful mentoring relationship.

“The best mentors remember those that kindled their spirit and recognize it is their turn to pass on the flame. I was extremely happy to be a part of the programme again this year, having the opportunity to shape and the quality of the mentorship experiences through this training workshop,” said Mr. Waddell.

“I really enjoyed the Chamber Mentoring Programme. Brandon was a great mentee who is perched on the edge of some significant life decisions and I am so happy to have provided support and insight into the career paths he is pursing. His success will be a great reward to me,” stated Ms Teresa Owen-Foster, mentor and programme director, Junior Achievement of the Cayman Islands

“I recommend anyone who can provide support and growth to a young person in the Cayman Islands to become a Mentor in the next recruitment of mentors. The programme truly helps you to make a difference.” said Ms Leanna Jarvis, mentor and event manager at the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce.

“It was a pleasure [to be a part of the programme] and showing Amy the ropes here at Mourant Ozannes. I look forward to next year,” said Ms Juliet Cumber-Forget, mentor and Human Resources officer at Mourant Ozannes.

Similar sentiments were expressed by school representatives. The participating schools were St. Ignatius, Cayman Prep & High, Triple C, John Gray High, and Cayman International School, and Grace Christian Academy.

“It was very beneficial to our students and I know they will continue to reap the benefits from the collective wisdom and knowledge from their mentor’s years down the road,” commented Mr. Wes Heistand, Gifted and Talented coordinator, John Gray High School.

John Gray student, Monique Buck outlined “The programme has been very informative for me. I was interested in Family Law and through my mentorship with Morna Chisholm, I now know for sure that is what I still would like to do.”

During the programme year, two social sessions were organized. In February, a luncheon was held at Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort with guest speaker Garth Arch, past YCLA recipient and managing director of Arch & Godfrey. The second group event included a boat cruise to Kaibo on the Cayman Explorer (MarineLand Tours).

Anyone interested in becoming mentors in the upcoming programme are encouraged to contact the chamber at [email protected]