The Kingston Wharves group recently rewarded 18 children of its employees who were successful in their PEP exams, presenting them with school vouchers and other gifts together worth over $400,000. The event is staged annually, but this year the formal celebration of the students was carried out virtually due to the on-going pandemic.
The children’s parents are employees of Kingston Wharves and its subsidiaries, Security Administrators Limited (SAL) and Newport Stevedoring Services Limited (NSSL).
CEO Mark Williams lauded the youngsters for their hard work and perseverance. “The fact that you are here today means you have persevered. You kept going through difficult circumstances; you never quit or gave up, and you kept your eye on the prize,” Mr. Williams declared.
“We as adults had to work through the challenges of the COVID—19 restrictions, so we know it was even more difficult for you. You had to go to school online for the most part, and sometimes you had connectivity and internet issues. To make it even more difficult, you had no face-to-face interaction with your friends for a long time. Nevertheless, you made it through,” the CEO said.
He encouraged the youngsters to remain focused on their goals and dreams. “Continue to work hard, but not just to be good students academically; be good people and citizens of Jamaica…Wherever you go be a force for good, show respect, kindness, integrity and other positive attitudes. Be good even when no one is looking, and when you make mistakes seek forgiveness,” Mr. Williams advised the students.
The CEO also lauded the parents. “We are proud of the children, but also of the parents. It was hard on you as you had to learn how to be parent and teacher; you had to work to ensure your children had the right devices, adequate data and other resources to learn and succeed, and all that took money,” Mr. Williams observed.
Group Chief Financial Officer Clover Moodie and Managing Director of Security Administrators Limited Captain George Reynolds also had words of encouragement for the students. Captain Reynolds congratulated the students for, “Mashing up their exams under difficult circumstance, “ adding, “Your success has to be taken in context of the pandemic and other challenges, and some of you had sleepless nights in preparing for your exams. Yet you did well and we are so proud of you.”
Expressing pride in the students’ achievement, Ms. Moodie urged them to continue to strive towards their goals, and to make the most of high school. “It is a different environment (from primary and prep school); you are going to have to do a lot of work on your own now, but with hard work, we are confident you will excel,” Ms. Moodie told the youngsters.
Giving a response on behalf of the students, Abrianna Wickham, who will attend Ardenne High School, noted that over the years Kingston Wharves has gone above and beyond to show love and appreciation to its staff and their children.
“Thank you Kingston Wharves for making the award possible,” she said. Abrianna also thanked the parents for their support, and encouraged her fellow awardees to continue to shoot for the stars.