A hundred recent graduates of historically black universities in the United States (US), who are preparing to take their place in the workforce, will converge on the island from May 14 to 18 for a graduation celebration and empowerment forum.
Called ‘Jamaica 360º Sun Festival’, the event is the brainchild of Xavier Artis, chief executive officer and founder of Recycling Inspiration. It will give the graduates an opportunity to relax and unwind, while enjoying an all-expense paid vacation at SuperClubs Grand Lido Resort in Trelawny.
“The goal is to encourage, empower, educate and excite young people and prepare them for the workforce as they recharge in a relaxing atmosphere,” Artis said.
The five-day event, endorsed by the Ministry of Tourism, Entertainment and Culture, is being held in partnership with a number of local organisations, including SuperClubs and Air Jamaica, which will fly the graduates into the island from gateways in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Philadelphia.
“Air Jamaica is pleased to partner with Recycling Inspiration in facilitating a bold new initiative aimed at empowering young people. This ties in with our philosophy of assisting growth and development, as well as being a responsible corporate citizen,” said Paul Pennicook, Air Jamaica’s senior vice-president for sales and marketing.
While in Jamaica, the graduates will be acknowledged for their dedication to school and community service, and will participate in workshops, where they will benefit from the wisdom of successful black professionals, including actor/comedian Eddie Griffin, who has donated US$150,000 to the effort; public relations guru and author of The Personal Touch Terrie M Williams; actress Regina King; baseball legend ‘Sweet’ Lou Johnson; hip hop legend Doug E Fresh, among others.
Essence Magazine’s Editorial Director, Susan L Taylor will speak to the graduates and youngsters from the HEART Trust/NTA about the importance of mentoring others, while singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder, will be on hand to celebrate the young adults’ accomplishments.
As part of the initiative, Recycling Inspiration will announce a new initiative, the Recycling Inspiration Fellows Exchange Programme, which is a partnership with the HEART Trust/NTA to train and certify selected graduates to teach courses in hospitality, business, administration and entertainment.
SuperClubs has also joined the initiative by committing to provide over 300 job opportunities for the graduates of the RI HEART Trust/NTA programme.
Recycling Inspiration inspires dreams by securing awards originally bestowed to celebrities, community leaders, and noted entities in the categories of entertainment, health/science, education, business, politics/government, sports, law, and media.
To date awards have been received from President Nelson Mandela, Denzel Washington, Michael Jordan, Beyoncé Knowles, Susan L Taylor, Jackie Robinson, Arthur Ashe, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, Mary J Blige and the late Johnnie L Cochran, Jr.