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Over 600 graduate from Learning for Life programme

Thursday, March 22, 2018

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AN air of pride and celebration filled the Wolmer's Boys' School auditorium earlier this month as more than 600 students graduated from the Red Stripe Learning for Life Programme, which celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Funded by the Desnoes & Geddes Foundation, the Learning for Life programme, in conjunction with the HEART Trust/National Training Agency, provides participants with skills training in hospitality, retail, entrepreneurship, and bartending, a release said.

The most recent cohort of students completed courses in various programmes, including CXC Night Academy, Certified Bar, Project Employability, Project Merchandizer, Project Grow, and Project Small Business Management.

“We always take every opportunity to assist young Jamaicans and Learning for Life is one of the primary vehicles we use to do that. Investing in the communities where we do business helps people enjoy and live better lives. Learning for Life is an innovative programme that proves that growing a successful business and doing good for others can be compatible, while fostering long-term sustainability,” Red Stripe head of Corporate Affairs Dianne Ashton-Smith is quoted as saying in the release. “For its 10 years of being a cause for good in Jamaica, Learning for Life continues to empower individuals to forge their own paths and become self-sufficient contributors to their communities and to society.

“Students feel a sense of achievement and empowerment when they complete each programme and are able to more confidently become economically independent while providing for their families and their communities in a meaningful way,” she added.

As part of the programme's tenth anniversary celebration, five partners were inducted into the newly established Learning for Life Hall of Fame.

“I feel privileged to be one of the first inductees in the Learning for Life Hall of Fame and it feels good to gain this recognition,” Ryan Mitto, former project bartender student of the 2013 cohort now entrepreneur, said after receiving his plaque.

He continued: “Learning for Life opened my eyes to the possibilities in terms of a niche in the market. It showed me that it was the right time to bring a global style of bartending to the Jamaican scene.”

For valedictorian and Project Employability graduate, Jonnalee Davis, the Learning for Life programme stood as a vehicle for personal growth and a platform to achieve greater things, the release said.

“In addition to employability skills, my courses focused on social media and personal development among other things. Coming from the inner city, I did not let my circumstances define me but I redefined what it meant to come from the inner city. I now believe that the opportunities are endless,” Davis expressed.

The release said to date, the lives of more than 15,000 Jamaicans have been enriched by the Learning for Life programme as the training they received has provided them with employment capabilities and opportunities to increase their earning potential.

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