Frank Ali started working at age ten in the San Juan market, selling celery from a little cardboard box at two for $1 to help pay for his schooling.
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Monkey Spray cops JA Company of the Year award
Run by students from the east-west corridor, Monkey Spray captured the prestigious 2014 Company of the Year award when Junior Achievement of T&T held its 44th Annual Future Unlimited Awards Ceremony and Banquet on June 7.
A release said the packed ballroom of the Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre went up in sustained applause as president of Monkey Spray, Jada Blanc, received the winner’s trophy on behalf of students of seven secondary schools which made up the company.
“This is a happy moment for all of us. It was a lot of hard work and commitment but we enjoyed the entire period. I want to thank all the students, our advisors and teachers, and JA, for this great opportunity for giving us realistic insights into the world of business,” said Blanc, a student of Bishop’s Anstey East College. Blanc copped the award for President of the Year.
For topping the programme, Monkey Spray won a trip for four students to Peru later this year.
Achiever of the Year was Aziza Lourenco, a student of ASJA Girls College, Tunapuna, a member of ICE (Introducing a Colourful Experience) company.
JA Executive President J Errol Lewis told the gathering of students, teachers, parents and advisors that he was proud of the positive impact the annual programme has made in the lives of the young people of T&T. “All of our youths are not deviant or misbehaved. If they are, we have to guide them,” Lewis said.
He disclosed that the 33 companies from this year’s programme had generated sales of some $400,000, with $80,000 coming out of the trade fair held at Woodford Square, Port of Spain, in April. Phrase It, counselled by energy company BP Trinidad, was awarded the trophy for Best Trade Fair Booth.
The feature address was delivered by Madame Justice Maria Wilson, a former JA achiever herself. Justice Wilson urged the students to be agents of change. “Let your voices be heard. Show that you can tackle the problems facing the young people of our society. Your participation in this personal development programme has shown that you have the talent, the drive and the attitude to do just that,” she said.
Earlier, JA Executive President Lewis made a passionate appeal for more sponsors to support the organisation’s activities. “We need more companies to come on board. But first and foremost, we have to thank bpTT for their longstanding partnership. Had it not been for bpTT, there would be no Junior Achievement. We also have to thank our other partners, CIBC First Caribbean, FCB, NLCB, NP, AcelorMittal, GE and TCL for their support,” Lewis said.
BP T&T sponsored 10 of the 33 JA companies in the 2014 programme.
Joel Primus, Community Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations Adviser, said bpTT remained committed to the development of the people of T&T.
“Education and enterprise development and capacity building are two of the four pillars in our Corporate Responsibility agenda. Our investment in and our enduring relationship with Junior Achievement is one of the greatest examples of how we are focusing on educating and creating the next generation of business leaders in T&T,” Primus said.
A special award was presented in memory of murdered attorney Dana Seetahal, a former JA student for her contribution to the organisation and the national community. It was accepted by Dr Janine Seetahal.
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