This summer, GraceKennedy will host four university students of Jamaican heritage from the USA, UK and Canada for its annual Jamaican Birthright Programme.
The five-week professional and cultural internship programme takes place in Jamaica between June 28 and August 7, and offers second and third generation Jamaican university students the unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience interning at GraceKennedy (GK), while immersing themselves in Jamaica’s rich culture.
GK Group CEO Don Wehby commented, “Since 2004 we have hosted over 50 Birthright interns, who have all returned to their respective countries and become advocates for Jamaica. By offering this transformative experience year after year, GK is continuing to inspire the next generation of Jamaicans living in the diaspora to appreciate their ancestry and create a positive impact in their communities.”
Caroline Mahfood, CEO of the GraceKennedy Foundation (GKF), which coordinates the programme on GK’s behalf, agreed, explaining, “The selected students have demonstrated a genuine eagerness to engage with their Jamaican heritage. We believe that their participation on the programme will not only support their personal and professional growth but also deepen their connection with their Jamaican roots.”
The annual Birthright Programme is a collaboration between GraceKennedy and a number of public and private sector entities who also have a vested interest in nation building and engaging the Jamaican youth diaspora, including: the official airline partner, Caribbean Airlines; the exclusive transportation partner, Island Car Rentals; Jamaica Tourist Board; Jakes Hotel; Flow Jamaica; Juici Patties; Hi-Lo Food Stores; Grace Foods & Services; and World Brands Services.
“We appreciate all our partners who play an active role in ensuring that the selected participants have a well-rounded Jamaican experience,” added Mrs. Mahfood.
After an extensive selection process, which saw an overwhelming number of applications, four exceptional candidates were chosen to participate in the 2023 Birthright Programme: Logan Wright, University of Central Florida, USA; Bianca Byfield, Harvard University, USA; Samaya Miller, University of British Colombia, Canada; and Ras.I Martin, Oxford University, United Kingdom.
The participants will be immersed in various cultural experiences, including museum tours and weekend trips to historical and cultural sites across the island, enabling them to gain a deeper understanding of Jamaica. They will also intern at a GK subsidiary linked to their career interests.
For more information about the GraceKennedy Jamaican Birthright Programme, visit www.gracekennedy.com