The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Young Leaders Programme has awarded local students who participated in its annual community development project initiative, as it looks to foster community development on the island.
The programmewas done in partnership with the WE organisation from Canada under the theme “I am WE. Voluntering for Impact.” It involved students from various schools and featured students developing community development projects under the mentioned theme.
Over 300 students from 11 schools participated with St. Mary’s College picking up the top award.
RBC Country Manager Sandra Fontenelle said this is all in an effort to develop communities on the island.
“It is realising our corporate social responsibility and also, what we at RBC believe in is helping our communities thrive. I am really thrilled with the enthusiasm the students displayed, and looking at the projects over there you can see a lot of work and effort went into making these projects a success this year,” she said.
The bank’s Managing Director Isaac Solomon echoed Fontenelle’s sentiments, pointing out that the project development initiative also showcases the talent of students.
“Engaging our young people is one way of getting into the community. I mean, there are many other ways of which we do that but we appreciate and understand the depth of talent resident in our young people, and we saw it as a catalyst, and saw the development of our communities in the end,” he stated.
Solomon said that the alliance with the WE Schools organization was important as it improved the effectiveness of the RBC Young Leaders Programme initiative.
“WE Schools… is an organisation that has a global reach, and so because we are both doing the same thing, the bank saw it fit to try to garner some synergies by partnering with WE in Canada. The programme has extended to the USA and now we’re bringing it to the Caribbean, simply to leverage the best of the expertise and the experience that we have in Canada,” Solomon said.
Meanwhile, Director of the WE National Partnership Team, Marsha Doucette ,said that the WE movement believes that young people have the potential to be leaders and to effect meaningful change within their communities and the world.
She said that the partnership has allowed the WE programme to enhance the resource tools for teachers, both online and physically, and encouraged students and educators to get involved in the movement of volunteerism.
The awards ceremony was held at Sandals Halcyon on Friday, June 23.