Call goes out for 60 mentors

| 17/09/2008

(CNS): With the official launch of this year’s Mentoring Cayman Programme coming up in November some 60 volunteers are needed to fill the role of mentor to encourage young Caymanian school students into a promising future.  Since 2002, Mentoring Cayman has assisted many motivated high school students to become the next generation of business and community leaders. (Left Joanne Diaz-Berry launches 2008 programme)

The Programme is reportedly designed to encourage students to go on to post secondary education, introduce them to careers not previously considered, and develop friendships with industry leading professionals. Run by the Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Education, Training, Youth, Sports & Culture the 2009programme kicks off on Monday, 24 November with the first workplace visit scheduled for Tuesday, 9 December and the chamber will need the mentors in place before that date.
The Chamber said that high school students are identified and nominated by their Principals for placement in the programme. They are then carefully matched with mentors based on the mutual interests of both parties. Each mentor and his or her student meet for seven sessions of one “school day” per month. The student and mentor meet at the mentor’s place of work and also participate in a minimum of two social sessions outside of work.
Taking part in the recently concluded programme, Steve Ali, Senior Account Manager at CITCO mentored John Gray Student Jawara Alleyne whose main interest is in Accounting. “From a mentor’s perspective it allowed me the chance to interact with the youth and the future of Cayman, and show the promising side of the nation’s future” explained  Ali. “The experience was a two way street. The time invested was worth it, even though I was faced with a number of challenges in terms of meeting my existing deadlines and also trying to be part of Mentoring. In the end the sacrifice was for a greater good. It gave me a sense of accomplishment and it brought me closer to the community and the young people in Cayman.”According to the Chamber participating mentors are given the opportunity to offer guidance and direction, demonstrate as well as explain and model professionalism and ethical conduct while instilling the social skills needed in the workplace. “The Mentoring Cayman programme affords Mentors with tremendous benefits. Not only do they obtain great satisfaction from helping a young person grow, there is the added benefit that, through individuals’ links with students, businesses can become more involved in the wider community and forge links with perhaps potential staff members in the making,” the organisation said.

“This programme also provides Mentors with the opportunity to develop interpersonal, communication, and listening skills, increase self-awareness, as well as satisfy the desire to help others feel valued and to put something back into the community.”

Mentor applications are available for download from www.caymanchamber.ky. Companies interested in sponsoring the Mentoring Cayman programmme or anyone seeking more information should contact Joanne Diaz-Berry, Programmes & Events Manager at the Chamber of Commerce on joanne.berry@caymanchamber.ky

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