It's five o’clock on a Thursday afternoon and I am on my way to the Marriott Hotel on the Foreshore to have dinner with 25 teenaged students of the San Juan North Secondary School who had completed the first section of a youth development programme in skills building for disadvantaged youth.
What a most enjoyable event was the Lessons Learned workshop dinner which brought to a close the first nine modules of a programme which was comprised of beauty in me, communicating with confidence, personal branding, developing interpersonal skills, and claiming your space at the table.
The programme was conducted in the school’s audio-visual room twice a week for three hours. The final ten sessions ended on December 1.
The Beyond The Horizons Youth Development Programme is the brainchild of Anna Thompson of Purpose Business Solutions Ltd. She is an experienced and qualified human resource management professional with over 20 years senior managerial experience spanning the financial, manufacturing, advertising and quasi-government sectors.
“Basically,” says this amazing woman, “I recognised the gaps that exist among vulnerable youth in society and developed a programme to close those gaps thereby allowing them to be more successful in their future endeavours. “The vision is to transform our client organisations into world class businesses. Our mission is to enhance the business performance of client organisations through transforming people, systems and processes and bring value to our shareholders. Our core values are integrity, service, excellence and professionalism.”
Thompson holds an Executive MBA from the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, a post graduate diploma in human resource management, a BSc (Hons) in Social Sciences and a diploma in teaching. These academic qualifications are complemented by professional training in the areas of continuous process improvement, quality management, strategic compensation and crisis management among others.
Success was stamped all over the beautifully-attired “semi-graduates” who enjoyed a delicious meal, and then listened to six guest speakers, all of whom gave a brief, down-to-earth synopsis of what had led to the “rise in their lives” from humble beginnings.
After each speaker the students took turns relaying what they had learned from self-made entrepreneur Berry Ferdinand – 32 years in business, Lesley-Anne Mc Farlane – a film specialist, Nigel Paul a young boxer, Dr Osei Fraser, currently pursuing a specialty in general surgery and Director of Public Prosecutions, Roger Gaspard.