Twelve high school students pursing careers in the construction industry have graduated from a four-month mentoring program. The program, designed by the Cayman Society of Architects, Surveyors and Engineers, provided students with hands-on experience and visits to construction sites.
Student Paul Rousseau, who was influenced by his father, a marine mechanic, said he has had an interest in engineering and mechanics since a very young age.
“The program helped me explore degree options and it gave me a chance to see the intricate steps that are involved in building, including all the teamwork and coordination it takes.
“Seeing this has given me a greater appreciation for completed structures. I realize it takes a lot of hard work and determination,” he said.
Students were able to identify the areas of construction they wished to pursue, and support was provided from mentors in the industry. The program included six mentoring sessions, in addition to visits to construction sites, where students learned about architecture, engineering, project management, building technique and safety procedures.
Bryan Fitzgerald, director of the program and a construction engineering manager at Decco Ltd., said, “Having taken part in this program over the past two years, I can say that mentoring these bright young people is a deeply rewarding experience. The program provides a gateway for them to engage with fellow professionals and develop their individual skills.”
Students who participated this year, in addition to Paul Rousseau, were: Brandon Williams, Dennyton Hurlston, Johnathon Jackson, Michael Robinson, Andres McDermot, Caswell Ferguson, Daval Gregory and Britaney Thompson. Site visits to the Kimpton Hotel, Casa Luna and WaterColours were some of the highlights on the list. Student Johnathan Jackson said the visit to WaterColours was exciting.
“We got a chance to see the view from the top floor and then we sat together as a group and discussed our opinions – what was done well and what could have been done better.”
Britaney Thompson said, “We had so much knowledge at our fingertips, there were no questions left unanswered.” At the graduation ceremony on May 14, each student was encouraged to establish their educational goals and ways to achieve their professional growth.