Junior Achievers back from Uruguay full of promise

BASSETERRE ST. KITTS (December 3, 2012) — Programme Co-ordinator for Junior Achievement St. Kitts and Nevis, through the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Mrs Tracy Herbert, is upbeat that local Junior Achievers are capable of representing themselves and their country at an international level.

After leading a contingent of six Kittitian Junior Achievers and two teachers from the Washington Archibald and Basseterre High Schools to the Latin America and Caribbean JA Company of the Year competition held in Montevideo, Uruguay, last week, she challenged other high schools to emulate the two.

The St. Kitts Junior Achievers contingent pictured outside the arrival hall at the RLB International Airport on arrival from Montevideo, Uruguay, from left: Dhalia Hudson, Eunice Liburd, Tayesha Martin, Shelicia Rogers, Akila Moore, Guevelle Pemberton, Trevis Belle, Damarni Tyrell and Tracy Herbert.

Mrs Herbert, who was speaking at the RLB International Airport Saturday afternoon (December 1) shortly on arrival from the South American country, said: “I am hoping that this will make them so covetous so that they would see this and say, ‘look we have to do something for our school because we need to be able to go out there like the others and represent our school and by extension St. Kitts and Nevis.’

She observed that she has been working closely with Junior Achievement since 2009 and this year was the first time that Junior Achievers from the Federation had taken part in the finals of the Latin America and Caribbean JA Company of the Year competition.

According to Mrs Herbert, funding had been one of their main challenges, as it is very expensive to travel to the countries where the finals are being held. This year, she noted, they received funding from the USAID and were able to use some of those funds to facilitate their travel.

“We hope this will continue and we hope that the business community would be able to recognise that the young people have talent, have ability and are able to go out there and represent the country very well and so they will be able to invest into the youth in this programme,” said Mrs Herbert.

Teacher/Co-ordinator for the JA Programme at the Basseterre High School, Mrs Eunice Liburd, said that the Kittitian students were exceptional. According to her, they were well poised, very well spoken, and that they presented themselves in a very professional way.

“I was very proud, extremely proud especially of the Basseterre High School students’ Thrifty Trends Company,” said Mrs Liburd. “They were able to demonstrate to the judges all of the things their company had to offer, just like the real professionals do in real world.”

While none of the two Kittitian high schools placed in the top three, she said that “from the feedback that we got from some of the judges, both schools were in the top running — some judges even picked one or both schools. There were nine judges and all nine judges had to come to unanimous decisions.”

Six Caribbean countries were at the finals, with St. Kitts and Nevis, Jamaica, Grenada and St. Lucia taking part, while Dominica and Barbados were there as observers. Grenada, which was in its second year of participation was placed second overall after Ecuador, while in the third place was Brazil.

“It was a wonderful experience. We learnt a lot of ideas and we made a lot of friends,” said Mrs Dhalia Hudson, teacher and organiser for the JA Programme at the Washington Archibald High School. “Of course we are ready to move ahead for next year at a higher level. I think it would be a good opportunity for the young people here.”

The students were equally upbeat that they made a good account of themselves at their first appearance at the Latin America and Caribbean JA Company of the Year competition. President of the Washington Archibald High School’s Wildly Creative Junior Achievement Company, Shelicia Rogers, spoke on behalf of her colleagues, Tayesha Martin and Akila Moore.

“Actually, I believe we placed very high in ranking. Although we did not come first, second or third, we did good,” said Shelicia. Asked if her company would make it to the top next year, she said: “Yes I am quite confident in that. I believe that our experience will benefit both the country and us.”

Guevelle Pemberton, President of Basseterre High School’s Thrifty Trends Junior Achievement Company, along with her two colleagues, Damarni Tyrell and Trevis Belle said that they displayed wooden plates, cups, picture frames, handbags, hair bands, and wrist bands.

Asked to compare her company’s performance against the other student companies from across the Latin America and the Caribbean at the international JA Company of the Year competition, she said: “We did good, and we represented the country well.”

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