SHIVALA RAMPERSAD, a form four student of Naparima Girls’ High School, walked away with double honours at the 48th Annual Future Unlimited Banquet and Awards Ceremony of Junior Achievement TT. She took the award of president of the year and leading her company, Colibri, to the company of the year accolade.
After the presentation of the overall trophy, Rampersad was joined on stage by her ecstatic company colleagues, who celebrated their victory for several minutes on July 7. Earlier, Rampersad was presented with the president award by Gerard Jackson, head, government and stakeholder relations, BPTT, long-standing sponsor of the JA movement, said a media release.
The signature JA event, held at the Cascadia Hotel and Conference Centre, St Ann’s, saw Ashley Wharwood, a member of Finessecompany and a student of St Joseph’s Convent (San Fernando), cop the prestigious Achiever of the Year award.
Both Rampersad and Wharwood expressed delight on being selected. “This is a great achievement but I owe a lot to the other stakeholders of Colibri who all pulled their weight,” Rampersad said.
“I also have to thank my colleagues since we all worked as a team. The whole experience has been wonderful and I was able to make new friends along the journey,” said Wharwood.
Some 700 students, representing 33 companies, participated in the project. Open to form four students, participants learned the fundamentals of entrepreneurship by owning and operating a business under the guidance of Junior Achievement.
Feature speaker David Dulal-Whiteway, CEO of the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business, thanked Junior Achievement TT for its determination in encouraging young people to be active, innovative, creative and socially responsible citizens.
By the year 2030, he told the students, technology and internet advances and the growth of robotics and artificial intelligence would bring a new range of occupations where they would need to be bilingual and multi-skilled.
Dulal-Whiteway advanced five principles or values for success: passion, purpose, plan, persistence and patience. He said, “When you are passionate in what you do, people will buy your products and services. To be successful, know your purpose. You must have a business plan. Be persistent in what you want; it can mean the difference between success and failure. Be patient; sometimes in life you have to be patient and see things through.”
JA executive director J Errol Lewis said total estimated income for the 33 companies was in excess of $200,000, with the annual trade fair, held in April at Woodford Square, Port of Spain, accounting for $100,000. He said that each company contributed a portion of the money it earned and/or its members’ time toward a charity of their choice and provided more than 130 hampers to families in need.
“Use your energies positively as you pursue your careers and your life goals. As our banner declares, your future is unlimited. Think big; think far,” Lewis urged the achievers.
Lewis said that, for the first time, officers of the various companies were trained by a learning institution in the principles of establishing and running a successful business through a partnership with the Arthur Lok Jack business school.
Other JA partners are Scotiabank and the Division of Cooperatives of the Ministry of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development.
Here are winners of major awards
Achiever of the year, Ashley Wharwood (Finesse)
Company of the year, Colibri
President of the year, Shivala Rampersad (Colibri)
Advisor of the year, Kerriesse Williams
Salesperson of the year, Kharishma Mootoo (Euphoria)
Most innovative product, New Wave
Best trade fair booth, Incrementum
Best business plan, Colibri
Dawn Richards, Customer care challenge trophy: Youth Eclectic
Best stockholder/annual report, Luna Productions