The GraceKennedy Foundation (GKF) has opened applications for the 2022 GraceKennedy Jamaican Birthright Programme to candidates from the Northeast USA. Through the annual programme, university students with Jamaican heritage participate in a month-long internship linked to their field of study at a GraceKennedy subsidiary in Jamaica, and an all-expense paid exciting cultural immersion experience to learn about the land of their parents’ or grandparents’ birth.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we unfortunately had to cancel our 2020 and 2021 Birthright Programme, but we allowed those participants who had been confirmed for 2020, to defer until 2022. Regrettably, the Northeastern USA participant will be unable to attend, and as such we are opening applications for that region,” said CEO of GKF, Caroline Mahfood, who oversees the programme.

The 2022 Birthright Programme is scheduled to run from June 1 to July 8, and will host participants from Canada, the United Kingdom and the USA. Interested applicants must be a second or third generation Jamaican from the Northeast USA between the ages of 18 and 25 years, pursuing an undergraduate or post-graduate degree, and have a grade ‘B’ average or higher.  Additionally, they should have not lived in Jamaica for longer than six months and must have the passion to learn more about their Jamaican heritage and an interest in getting actively involved in diaspora activities.

Shanique Godfrey, a graduate of Clayton State University in the USA who is confirmed to participate in the 2022 programme, commented “Being selected as a GraceKennedy Birthright Intern is one of the most honorable accomplishments I have achieved. Despite not being able to attend in 2020, it remains a very prestigious honor to be invited back for the experience. My grandmother always told me ‘Nothing happens before its time and when God has a plan don’t question it!’”

Other confirmed 2022 participants are Olivia Hylton-Pennant, a graduate of the University of Cambridge in the UK and Debbie Buck, a student at the University of Winnipeg in Canada.

Interested candidates from the Northeast US can apply to participate in the 2022 Birthright Programme at Queries can be sent via email to Applications close November 30, 2021.