Island Totes, Dart’s Junior Achievement company, recently completed its immersion into the business world with a sale of 82 tote bags. The proceeds from those sales were donated to charity, resulting in a $600 donation to the not-for-profit Alex Panton Foundation.
“The decision to donate to the Alex Panton Foundation came from our 14 employees,” said Theola Williams, president of Island Totes. “The members of Junior Achievement felt drawn to a subject so vital that affects peers and colleagues in such a close community.”
The Alex Panton Foundation focuses on raising social consciousness of mental illnesses affecting children and young adults in the Cayman Islands, and it has a specific emphasis on anxiety and depression.
Several Dart employees served as Junior Achievement advisers to Island Totes, including Courtney Yates, Aly Hay, Jonny McLaughlin, Richard Superville, Alanna Warwick–Smith, Nick Natale, Nick Jackson, Ophelia Manderson, Lotoya Smith and Ravi Campbell.
“Junior Achievement is a great program. Young people learn how to run a business, create a product, engage customers, discuss financials and make business decisions which can affect their profit,” said Ms. Yares, Dart’s lead advisor for Junior Achievement. “After the 18-week program run, the achievers walk away with a better sense of business acumen and pride in what they have achieved for the year.”
Ms. Warwick-Smith, who also served as an adviser for Junior Achievement, spoke about the project.
“What attracted me to Dart as an employer was the constant opportunities provided to employees to give back to their community. When I heard about Dart’s involvement with JA, I rushed to sign up,” she said. “The weekly commitment felt like an opportunity to hit refresh and remind myself of all of the ideals and dreams that I used to have when I was in high school.
“A lot of the time, it felt like our achievers were teaching us. Junior Achievement is an opportunity to nourish the best parts of a high school student: their ambition, their drive and their innovative nature.”