Bank backs Junior Achievers

Mark St. Hill of CIBC FirstCaribbean congratulates Antonia Smith the Senior 4H Girl from Grantley Adams Memorial School while Marsha-Ann Clarke Local Director for JA and Renaldo Matamoro the 4H Boy of the school look on.
Mark St. Hill of CIBC FirstCaribbean congratulates Antonia Smith the Senior 4H Girl from Grantley Adams Memorial School while Marsha-Ann Clarke Local Director for JA and Renaldo Matamoro the 4H Boy of the school look on.

More students throughout Barbados stand to further develop and practise their entrepreneurial skills as Junior Achievers through the investment and support of a leading financial institution.

That’s because CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank is sponsoring Junior Achievement in Barbados with a presentation of $10,000 to the Junior Achievement Charity of Barbados at the bank’s Rendezvous offices.

The bank has sponsored the JA programme at the Grantley Adams Memorial School where funds will be used to train volunteers and teachers to help facilitate the programme; provide JA kits and materials; facilitate relevant field trips; as well as provide seed money for companies started by students.

The bank’s staff will also serve as “magnets”, guest speakers on specific topics at Grantley Adams and other schools as needed. With its investment, CIBC FirstCaribbean becomes a JA Champion, giving the youth organisation the flexibility over three years to make a substantial impact in a variety of areas at the school.

Executive Director of Junior Achievement, Marsha-Ann Clarke, said the news of the sponsorship was enthusiastically received by teachers and students at Grantley Adams.

“Between six to nine teachers immediately signed up for training which starts today so our resource pool has already been expanded thanks to CIBC FirstCaribbean. Also teachers and students alike are working round the clock, motivated by this support. It’s a contagious energy that comes from knowing they are being supported by a private sector investor who believes in youth.”

In thanking the bank for its contribution, the Clarke said: “Now more than ever Barbados, the region and the world needs partners like CIBC FirstCaribbean involved in positive youth development, specifically entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work readiness for survival in the continuing tough economic times. Their support could not have come at a better time.”

Clarke noted that the bank’s sponsorship would be even more impactful because of a matching grant provided by USAID, a worldwide sponsor of JA.

“This means that USAID will match each dollar given by private sector partners like CIBC FirstCaribbean.†The bank’s sponsorship is timely because it allows us to double the investment made by USAID.”

FirstCaribbean’s Barbados Country Head, Mark St. Hill, said: “The bank has been a keen supporter and partner with Junior Achievement in youth development for a number of years on multiple levels. We believe in their vision, what they do, and in the success the programmes continue to achieve. We look forward to the continuation of our partnership and to the empowerment of youth in Barbados in entrepreneurial development.”

St. Hill also noted that FirstCaribbean had supported Junior Achievement in countries across the Caribbean since 2008 as well as on a national level.

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