Lexi Balchan, the first student from Point Fortin to place first in the national Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) has been inducted into Atlantic’s “Point Fortin’s Finest” Leadership Development Programme.
More than 179 students have benefitted from the programme since its inception in 2000. Through the programme, the company provides financial support to the top ten SEA students from Point Fortin and environs for seven years of secondary school and three years of tertiary education. Balchan, a Form One student of Naparima Girls’ High School, San Fernando, was one of ten students in the 2017 cohort during a ceremony held on September 20.
They were congratulated by Atlantic’s vice-president of corporate operations, Toni Sirju-Ramnarine, who urged the students to appreciate and seize every opportunity for personal and professional development afforded by the programme.
“This is especially important when you consider the kind of challenges we’re seeing right now with natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes facing students right here in our region. Over the next ten years, Atlantic will be your partner, assisting and supporting you through your challenges whenever we are able, helping to secure and realise your potential to be the leaders of tomorrow,” Sirju-Ramnarine said.
Participating students attend annual vacation camps designed to make them well-rounded leaders, equipping them with life skills and building their knowledge of team work, conflict resolution and a broad range of leadership-related topics.
Atlantic said, “The students are also encouraged to develop the spirit of volunteerism through involvement in projects with various NGOs. Special vacation internships at Atlantic also introduce older students to real work experience.”
This year, “Point Fortin’s Finest” has a new feature - a mentorship component, where each of the incoming inductees will be assigned a mentor chosen from existing senior participants.
The mentors will guide the new students through various aspects of their school life and provide support throughout their time in the programme.
During this year’s induction ceremony, “Point Fortin’s Finest” alumnus Justin Newton shared his experience, citing years of mentorship by Atlantic employees which resulted in accelerated personal development.
He urged the inductees to embrace the opportunity explaining, “growing up is difficult in itself but with the presentations and activities that Atlantic will facilitate, you will both have fun and be better persons.”
The Point Fortin’s Finest Leadership Development Programme is Atlantic’s longest running social investment initiative. Since its inception, the programme has enabled recipients to achieve their goals to become professionals in their chosen fields. Medicine, geology, law, marine biology and veterinarian medicine are just some of the disciplines which past beneficiaries have successfully pursued.
Most recently, Jeanique Davis, an alumna of the programme, was the recipient of an open national scholarship for excellence in academic performance in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE). Other students on the programme have attained academic and sport scholarships to foreign universities.