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Jamaica House Fellows Welcome Opportunity To Serve
KINGSTON (JIS) -- The new Jamaica House Fellows are expressing gratitude to the Government for the opportunity granted for them to make a meaningful contribution to the country’s development. Eight persons were selected and officially pinned by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, during a ceremony held on March 8 at the Office of the Prime Minister to officially launch the Jamaica House Fellowship Programme. They are Jerome Cowans, Lavois Cruikshank, Christopher Graham, Karelle Samuda, Andrae Shawn Silburn, Aubrey Stewart, Mark Tracey and Sherona Forrester. The programme, a brainchild of Prime Minister Holness is designed to empower individuals to become strong leaders in their respective fields.
Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Christopher Graham says it is an absolute honour and privilege to be awarded the prestigious fellowship.
“This is a very important type of programme for the development of our country. It is important to include young people in the decision-making processes of the country, and I think the Government has a made a right decision,” he states.
Mr. Graham is a policy and governance professional and a doctoral candidate at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
He has worked on several projects with research institutes in Jamaica. Among the projects is mapping the 20th century economic and commercial history of Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.
The Jamaica House Fellow says he is looking forward to working with the different stakeholders in the Government and private sector to make a mark and to play a role in making the programme a success.
“I believe in giving back to the country. I am a patriotic Jamaican and I believe in the development of our society in every way possible. The value systems, the core beliefs that the programme suggested, those are the things that drew me to it… and I saw it as a great opportunity to experience an exposure to the public service, which I am very interested in,” Mr. Graham tells JIS News.
For Andrae Silburn, it is an honour and a privilege to be among the first cohort of individuals selected for the Jamaica House Programme.
He says from an early age, he has had an interest to contribute to the development of the nation.
“As a result, when I found out that the Government had made an initiative… that targeted youngsters and would have them actively engaged in policy development and participating in the executive functions of my great nation, I found it to be an opportunity that I had to align myself with,” Mr. Silburn states.
The Jamaica House Fellow is a graduate of the University of the West Indies (UWI) with a Bachelor of Laws degree with first-class honours.
He is also a recipient of the Governor General’s Achievement Award for Excellence for the Parish of St. Catherine (2016); the UWI Open Scholarship (2012); the National Commercial Bank Parish
Champion Scholar (2012); and the Brenda Lewis Memorial Prize for the Laws of Corporate Insolvency (2015).
Mr. Silburn says he is looking forward to working with the various ministries in drafting and implementing policies.
Another Jamaica House Fellow, Karelle Samuda, is expressing sincere gratitude to the Government of Jamaica for launching “this unique opportunity for young Jamaicans to participate at the highest level in the decision-making processes related to Jamaica’s welfare”.
“This fellowship programme is an important signal to young Jamaicans both here and in our diaspora that there is this unmitigated commitment by the Government to establish a meritocratic pathway to include and attract young Jamaican talent to public service,” Ms. Samuda states.
She adds that the programme presents a unique opportunity to the participants to tangibly contribute to Jamaica’s development and to help realise the Vision 2030 goal of making Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.
“Let me assure you, Mr. Prime Minister, that we commit to achieving the goals of the Fellowship Programme with integrity and professionalism. We will be steadfast in promoting those goals that will contribute to nation building and social and economic growth and development,” Ms. Samuda says.
The Fellows will meet on a regular basis, create reports to be reviewed and will have personal interaction with the Prime Minister, the Portfolio Ministers and senior personnel in Government.
They will be required to achieve key performance indicators on special projects to which they will be assigned.
The Jamaica House Fellowship programme has the strategic objective of encouraging the practical involvement of young people in the governance and policy decision-making processes at the highest levels of Government.
It offers exceptionally talented and motivated young Jamaicans the opportunity to work on, support and implement high-priority initiatives and objectives.
The Fellowship programme will run for two years for each cohort.