Provides Opportunity for Diaspora Students to Learn About their Heritage

GraceKennedy Limited (GKL) has announced that it has started accepting applications from second and third generation Jamaican students for its 2020 Jamaican Birthright Programme. 

The cultural immersion programme allows university students of Jamaican heritage from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, to participate in an all-expenses paid month-long internship in Jamaica.  The internship allows the students the opportunity to work at a GraceKennedy subsidiary linked to their field of study, while learning about the land of their parents’ or grandparents’ birth.

Four persons – two from the USA, one from the UK and one from Canada – will be chosen to participate in the 2020 Jamaican Birthright Programme to run from July 1 through August 7, 2020.  

Interested applicants must be: between the ages of 18 and 25 years; second or third generation Jamaican; pursuing either an undergraduate or post-graduate degree; and have a Grade ‘B’ average or higher.  Additionally, they must have not lived in the country for more than six months and are eager to learn more about their Jamaican heritage.

“The 2019 Programme was very successful and the interns had a well-rounded and fulfilling experience,” said Executive Director of the GraceKennedy Foundation, Caroline Mahfood, who oversees the programme.

The 2019 Jamaican Birthright interns were Callum McCarthy, a recent graduate of University of Cambridge in the UK; Kayla Jessup, a fourth-year student at The University of Chicago in the USA; Tarik Graham, a second-year student at Harvard University in the USA; and Sapphira Thompson-Bled, a recent graduate of University of Ottawa in Canada. 

“The Programme was far better than I could ever have imagined. It had everything I could have wanted. It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life and I feel so privileged to have been selected,” stated Callum McCarthy from the UK.  Kayla Jessup, one of the interns selected from USA, added, “The GK Birthright Programme provided a unique experience that I wouldn’t have been able to get elsewhere. Through working and going on the excursions, a lot of learning takes place and I have gained a better understanding of my culture because of this.”

“With the support of our partners such as Caribbean Airlines, Go Jamaica Travel, Island Car Rentals, the Jamaica Tourist Board, among many other government and private companies in Jamaica, the 2019 interns received a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the business’ undertakings as well as Jamaica’s vibrant cultural traditions, from our food to music, history and so much more! They really got the chance to anchor their roots from the minute they boarded the plane,” Mrs Mahfood added.

Application forms are available at www.gracekennedy.com/birthright.  All applications must be received by GraceKennedy Limited no later than November 30. For further information, interested persons can either send queries via email to gkfoundation@gkco.com or call 1-876 932-3541.

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