St. John’s Antigua- The Cuban Universities Alumni Incorporated is marking its anniversary, the one-year anniversary of its official launch, this month with its second annual formal dinner. And you are invited.
Purchase of a ticket and presence at the event would be an endorsement, in the view of one executive member, of the work the organization has done and hopes to continue doing in the community.
The dinner venue is The Tides restaurant, the date is May 26, and the purpose, said Colin Jno Jenkins, is to celebrate “the accomplishments for the past year, (while) highlighting giving back to the community and forging the relationships that started.”
Primarily, they’ve focused this past year on a series of career road shows, where they visit fourth and fifth formers at local schools to share various professions and professional requirements with them. Their most recent stop, just last week, was Princess Margaret School, “opening their minds to the options that are available” and once again reportedly attracting an enthusiastic response.
“Sometimes, they hold you back at the school for long periods, asking you questions,” Jenkins, an architect by profession, said. “They even ask me if I’m willing to come back on a different day and let them get some more information and even try and teach them about it…any profession that has a decent presentation will get their attention.”
That’s probably because they’re at the age where they’re starting to think about their future. While the subject choices tend to be made in third form, it’s the fourth and fifth formers who’re presumably beginning to think ahead to exam and whatever steps come after that. And it’s perhaps, hopefully, not too late at that point to get them re-thinking the mix of subjects they’ll need for their chosen profession; such as chemistry for architecture.
“What does chemistry have to do with architecture?” In response to this question, Jenkins, with a well-placed real life example, schooled the youngsters on material choices and atmospheric conditions and chemical reactions; You know, chemistry. How about history, because you have to know not only how to draw new buildings but understand the history of architecture and “how society managed to reflect their advancement in structure”? Jenkins explained.
“We don’t think they’re really aware of some of the careers that they’re going into,” he said.
So, with past stops at Clare Hall Secondary, Ottos Comprehensive, Antigua Girls High School, and now PMSS, they’ve conversed with about 600 students to date; something they’ll be celebrating later this month.
But they won’t just be looking back, they’ll be looking ahead with the announcement of future endeavours like the DAN Award, named for a fallen comrade and in his spirit committed to rewarding outstanding Social Activism, and the Vanguardia Award, for someone who’s done something not just outstanding but beyond its time. The promised CUA website, from which folks will be able to receive free consultations from the experts in various fields, will also be launched at the dinner. And, of course, the road shows will continue; “we’re trying to go to all the schools in Antigua,” Jenkins said.
If you want to support the efforts of this fired up group of young Antiguan and Barbudan professionals, they’d love you to come hang with them at the dinner. For tickets, contact Kareem Edwards at 720-5600. It promises to be an entertaining evening, with a purpose; “Because,” Jno Jenkins said, “at the end of the day, we have to try and support our own.”