Lawyers mentor students

| 10/07/2009

(CNS): As part of the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Mentoring Cayman’ programme, a group of attorneys at Walkers acted as mentors to a number of young people over the past year, devoting a considerable amount of their own time to the project. ‘Mentoring Cayman’ pairs up each mentor with a mentee from a local school, who through regular visits to the mentor’s place of work, gains experience and exposure to working life.

Through regular contact with their mentor, the students have someone to introduce them to potential career paths, receive the benefit of good advice and help them understand their own strengths and capabilities.

"Participating in the ‘Mentoring Cayman’ programme has been an extremely positive experience
for all of us," said David Collins, partner with Walkers. "The thought of embarking on a career can be quite daunting when you are still at school, and it has been particularly rewarding to see how ambitious some of these young people are."

Also taking part in the programme were Walkers’ associates: Alexandra Woodcock, Barnaby
Gowrie, Caroline Chaloner, Michael Makridakis, Philip McGhee, Rob Jackson and Thomas Williams.

The students from John Gray High School that paired up with Walkers mentors were: David Feare, Kerseanna Ewers, Tecashanell McIntosh, Tony James and Zachary Powery. From St. Ignatius, the students were: Anthony Hurlston, Michael Sun and Yannick Whorms. Among the criteria required
for students to take part in the programme is that they must be in Year 11 with an excellent
report, be recommended by their school and receive permission from their parents.

This year’s ‘Mentoring Cayman’ programme, which began in November last year, involved the students visiting their mentors at the Walkers office on a monthly basis. Ensuring that their time with their students was fully utilised, the Walkers attorneys challenged the mentees with some interesting assignments. Much of the focus of the office sessions was devoted to the personal development of the students. In addition to drawing up ‘life plans’ and future goals, time was spent researching university entrance requirements and procedures, as well as ongoing discussions regarding academic progress. Some of the students attended lunches with a number of prominent individuals from all sectors of the economy, including accountants, airline pilots and senior civil servants.

"Other activities included trips to the Courthouse to view Court sessions in action, a visit to the Cayman Islands Law School and research into various academic and training programmes which aligned with the mentees’ interests," Mr. Collins said.

Many of the students also met with their mentors socially throughout the course of the year, including boat trips to Rum Point and playing golf. In May the mentors and students all came together for a Catamaran Cruise which was a great social event for everyone involved and provided a good opportunity for the students to share their experiences.

The programme came to an end on Wednesday June 24 with a reception at Government House, during which all the students received a commemorative award and certificate of completion. The Governor thanked all of the mentors for their time and efforts, commenting that the experience gained by the mentees would go a long way towards helping them decide on a future career path.

Launched in 2002, ‘Mentoring Cayman’ is a youth development initiative jointly funded and supported by the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Education, Training, Employment, Youth, Sports & Culture. Since inception, the programme has involved over 300 high achieving and motivated high school students, to help prepare them to become the next generation of leaders in the Cayman Islands.

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