What was described by many graduates of The Clarkson Foundation Inc.'s VIBES Life and Work Skills programme as well as by many invited guests and members of the audience as "the best graduation which they had ever attended" was held on Saturday, August 13th at The Garden Church of God, Reid Road, The Garden.
With the event being appropriately blessed by Pastor Emeritus Martin Goodridge, 23 of the 47 graduates received their certificates from Mrs. Beverly Smith-Hinkson, the Foundation's Chairperson and wife of its Patron, St. James North Member of Parliament Edmund Hinkson.
A well decorated background designed by Miss. Andrea Howell of Creative Balloon Designs and Events Decor set the stage for a well-crafted motivational feature address by Mrs. Celeste Foster, Co-Founder of ACR Business Solutions Inc. and Executive Chairman of the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation Inc. Mrs. Foster informed of her humble upbringings, being raised in the City of Bridgetown, through to her rise to being one of our country's leading entrepreneurs, voluntarily contributing to her society's socio-economic development through the Small Business Association of which she was the President, her mentorship of many young potential business persons and her guidance of many self-employed persons.
The Member of Parliament in his address reiterated his and the Foundation's commitment to assist in whatever manner is humanly possible in realising the potential, talents and maximum personal development of those of his constituents who are prepared to be diligent, dedicated and focused and to believe in their self-worth and ability in striving to achieve career success.
Mr. Kristan Patrick and Miss. Niann Thompson, two of the graduates, proudly gave riveting presentations on behalf of their colleagues, crediting the programme which was held in May and June for their increased self-confidence and positive personal development.
Kudos to all of the Foundation's Directors for assisting in making this cohort the most successful of the four which the Foundation has now held. Gratitude to Miss. Shanice Jordan and Mr. Jonathan Smith, the substantive and acting constituency secretaries respectively, for their tireless efforts in liaising with everyone at various stages of the sessions' planning and execution.
Magnanimous thanks to Mrs. Rhonda Bryan-Hutson in particular and to Mr. Roger Husbands for their skillful tutorship of participants during the two months period. The programme is in debt to the many resource persons who expertly presented their knowledge weekly on Saturday mornings for the constituents' benefit.
Gratitude to Miss. Sharon Thompson, J.P., Miss. Susan Packer, Miss. Diana Forde, J.P. and Miss. June Thompson who weekly ensured that there were adequate refreshments for all of the participants. Thanks also to Miss. Deborah Butler, a graduate of the inaugural programme in 2014 for her delicious graduation cake in which the graduates shared as well as to Corbin's Catering Services for their vegetarian food.
Appreciation to the four Churches in St. James North, which this initiative gave the Foundation the opportunity to partner with in utilising their respective sanctuaries and property for various aspects of the programme.
Finally, gratitude to Mr. Samuel Knight and his team for the live streaming of the event, to Mr. Tristan Mapp for his photography as well as to the media personnel who attended.
The Foundation now looks forward to next year's planned hosting of a Young Mother's Empowerment Programme for constituents of St. James North.
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