Junior Achievement St. Kitts and Nevis DREAM Breakfast
Basseterre, St. Kitts: Private sector representatives were truly electrified by the dynamic presentation of Mr J Errol Lewis, Executive Chairman of Junior Achievement Trinidad & Tobago. Mr Lewis presented during a fundraising breakfast dubbed the Developing Resources for Entrepreneurship, Achievement and Micro-enterprise or DREAM Breakfast.
The event, held at the Ocean Terrace Inn was part of an effort to gain new investors in Junior Achievement St Kitts & Nevis, in terms of time, expertise and money. The not for profit NGO offers entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy programs to youth age five to twenty five and are looking at the expansion of its program offerings in the Federation.
Mr Lewis reminded the audience that the school leavers who are primarily employed by the private sector are the product of the training and education put into them by the community in which they find themselves. He warned that the lack of identity of self and value to their world, as experienced by many of today’s young people results in the loss of productive citizens and that an investment in their training now reaps far greater rewards later.
In sharing about his forty-year work with Junior Achievement in Trinidad & Tobago, which he himself is a product of, he has been able to see the return on investment to Junior Achievement Programs with such success stories as: Ministers of Government, Dentists, Media Personnel, Master Chefs Renowned Comedians and Entertainers and the like hailing from his home country’s Junior Achievement.
He said, “Junior Achievement Programs train young people to see value in themselves and present it wherever they find themselves. It helps potential employees to act, speak and perform the way the business community expects.” Lewis continued, “we are the employers of the product created by the education system, the problems with their writing skills, dress and punctuality and other elements, results in wasting money later to retrain people and the downtime spent because of insufficiencies.” He closed by encouraging the St Kitts & Nevis business community to get involved in the design and maintenance of the products they would use, and to monitor the investment by being on the front lines volunteering and mentoring.
The DREAM breakfast ended on a high and inspired note, with businesses receiving pledge forms as they consider investment into JASKN. Mr Lewis admonished the group to not see Junior Achievement as a Charity but as a partner in the development of a strong well rounded workforce and contributors to the local, regional even worldwide economies.
Junior Achievement St Kitts & Nevis Representatives closed the event by thanking their guests and current major investors in the program; USAID, the Christophe Harbor Foundation, CIBC First Caribbean International Bank and its other sponsors and contributors.