Jamaican Birthright Program extends application deadline

GraceKennedy Jamaican Birthright interns (from left to right) Matthew Robinson, Cleveland Douglas, Tianna Thomas and Menelik Graham enjoying the Jamaica 55 Grand Gala Independence celebrations at the National Stadium in Kingston

By Stephen Weir

The deadline for the Jamaican Birthright Program, which will give four Jamaicans descendants the opportunity to spend time on the island next summer, has been extended until December 6.

The Jamaican Birthright Program is an initiative of Grace Kennedy Company Limited and seeks to reconnect second and third generation Jamaicans – attending universities in Canada, the United States of America and England – to their cultural roots.

It provides round-trip transportation, accommodation, a stipend and an internship in Jamaica.

Petronilla Marchan, one of the organizers of the program in Canada, said, “students should note that the deadline to apply has been extended to December 6.

“GraceKennedy will host four Canadian university students for a one-month internship this summer. Candidates must be second or third generation Jamaicans, who have never lived in Jamaica for more than a period exceeding six months,” she said.

The program is a cultural and professional internship geared at highlighting all aspects of Jamaican life, while furthering the career goals of the students. Over the course of it, the students are expected to receive a well-rounded Jamaican experience.

The chosen students will work in a GraceKennedy subsidiary linked to their particular field of study, giving them hands-on experience in a wide range of disciplines. This internship is meant to benefit the students in a variety of ways, including providing practical experience and mentorships.

The Jamaican Birthright Program is being funded by the GraceKennedy Foundation with support from other companies operating on the island, including Grace Foods, Western Union, Caribbean Airlines, Jamaica Tourist Board and Dolphin Cove.

According to Marchan, students interested in applying must write an essay about how Jamaica’s rich culture has influenced them. Also, the students need to provide transcripts, photographs and copies of their passport and birth certificates.

The application is done online at www.gracekennedy.com/birthright. Students and parents can also call  (647) 361-9880 or email palosecoevents@gmail.com to apply.