The Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, celebrated the launch of the 2019/2020 Mentoring Cayman programme on 7 Nov. at Triple C School.

This year’s programme pairs more than 50 top-achieving high school students with professionals and business owners within the Cayman Islands.

The opening reception provided an opportunity for students to meet the mentors with whom they have been paired based on their career interests, to provide insight into their chosen profession, stated a press release. Parents were also able to meet their child’s mentor, ensure they are comfortable with the match and demonstrate their support for the mentoring partnership.

The programme also aims to offer students career or professional inspiration and help them develop a positive work ethic.

Minister of Education Juliana O’Connor-Connolly said Mentoring Cayman was a great example of a successful private and public sector partnership to serve the needs of Cayman’s youth. “It represents our collective dedication to the development of young Caymanians,” she said. “I wish to thank the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce for facilitating this remarkable programme, as well as each mentor for giving your time to such a worthwhile cause.”

Approximately 140 people attended the opening reception, comprising students, parents, mentors and school organisers. The students represent Clifton Hunter High School, John Gray High School, Cayman Prep and High School, St. Ignatius Catholic School, Triple C School, Grace Christian Academy and Wesleyan Christian Academy.

Participating students, and their parents, meet their mentors.

Chamber CEO Wil Pineau said since the programme’s inception in 2002, just under 1,000 students have benefitted from being a part of Mentoring Cayman, which serves as an introduction to the many career paths available on island. “Not only are students learning invaluable skills that they will need when entering the working world, but they are also forming relationships with the leaders of Cayman’s business and professional community,” he said.

A monthly workplace visit in which mentors will allow their mentees to shadow them, while sharing their professional/career experiences or expertise, will be an important part of the programme.

The initiative also includes a career expo and a guest speakers’ luncheon to influence positively the students’ career growth and development, the Chamber said in the press release.