Career & Education

From awardee to employee

Jamaica Energy Partners star scholarship recipient now serves new business development team

Sunday, August 13, 2017

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The success of 24-year-old Delano Mighty seemed secure from his early years. His propensity for academics and zeal for high achievement from his time at primary school sent the signal that this young man was to be more than ordinary.

Delano considers himself an introvert; however, his light has so shone that no bushel could cover or darkness eclipse it.

He achieved the rank of top performer in the Grade Six Achievement Test while attending Giblatore Primary School in St Catherine. It was this academic performance that won him his first scholarship from the Jamaica Energy Partners (JEP).

Since 1997, JEP, Jamaica's largest independent power producer, has been providing students with scholarships and grants to advance their education. Over the years, JEP along with affiliate company West Kingston Power Partners (WKPP) have awarded over 1,000 students scholarships, valued at over $60 million.

At 11 years old Delano began first form at St Jago High School. There he maintained the standing of top performer among his peers, which was required to maintain the scholarship for the remainder of his secondary education.

A dedicated student, Delano continued to do well, which led to JEP granting him a full scholarship to complete the sixth form after sitting Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examinations earning eight distinctions from the nine subjects pursued.

“When I entered sixth form I started to think seriously about who I wanted to become. I had aspirations to study medicine, but I really didn't like biology,” Delano recalls.

“I had more of an analytical mind and preferred maths, chemistry and physics. I, therefore, started to explore career fields that focused on these areas,” he explained.

After successfully completing sixth form — having sat 10 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination units and earning distinctions in all — Delano was offered a full-tuition scholarship by JEP. He eventually realised his passion for chemical engineering and decided to pursue a first degree in the field. He enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering programme at the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech).

“I was expecting more chemistry,” said Delano. “The programme was strongly biased in physics and maths, but I didn't mind as by then I had developed a deep love for maths.”

Recalling his journey, Delano noted that the programme was not always easy. In fact, at the time of his enrolment Delano's year group had only 18 students pursuing the course.

“It was a small group of us, and the teachers challenged us. I owe a great wealth of gratitude to my instructors for teaching me how to think critically and work in a highly efficient manner, geared towards problem-solving. I had a great time at UTech; I actually met my future wife Amanda, who was also enrolled in the same programme,” he remarked.

Throughout his academic journey, Delano held strong ties to JEP. The company played an integral role and supported him every step of the way.

“There was never a time that JEP didn't check in on me to find out how I was progressing in school. What I admired about the company was the fact that they didn't just disburse funds, but rather played an active role in mentoring me and taking a genuine interest in my development,” he noted.

After completing his programme and graduating with honours, Delano pondered his next steps. It was serendipitous that JEP's sister company WKPP had a vacancy for a lab technician. Delano successfully interviewed for the position and held the post for almost two years. He was then offered a promotion and assumed the role of chemical and environmental specialist.

Resulting from his visible strong work ethic and analytical mind, Delano again moved up the ranks in the company as part of the new business development team — a position he has held since February of this year.

“Delano is one of the stars of the future,” said a beaming Wayne McKenzie, president and CEO of JEP and WKPP. “He is diligent, intelligent, and quite impressive... He gets things done and has proven his worth through his growth in the company. We have absolutely no regrets in hiring him, and we only see good things to come as he continues his journey with us,” he said.

On working at WKPP, Delano noted: “WKPP is an excellent place to start and develop a successful career. I enjoy the challenges that come with my roles, and I see my colleagues as my extended family, and we all have a good rapport. I hope to lecture one day, but until that happens, this is where I will be.”

JEP and WKPP allocate approximately $15 million to their scholarships and grant programmes annually. These funds go towards assisting students at the secondary and tertiary level who do exceptionally well. Scholarships are awarded based on students' academic performance and demonstrable financial need. Provided a minimum B+ average is maintained the scholarship may be re-awarded until completion of the study.

“We have had recipients who are employed as doctors, lawyers, teachers, accountants, nurses, and actuarial scientists and we could not be prouder to have partnered with them, and share in their achievements,” noted McKenzie.

Since 1997, JEP has been dedicated to fostering the education of our youth. WKPP, in 2012, began to share the same vision, joining JEP in actively taking these students to the next level academically. JEP and WKPP have also contributed to infrastructural improvements in educational institutions across the country. The companies also host an annual school feeding programme, back-to-school treats and participate in training and mentorship initiatives.

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