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CrazyFruits » WORLD NEWS AND SPORTS FROM SKY » Konnecting Minds project reaches out to students

Konnecting Minds project reaches out to students

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NINETEEN students from different high schools in Kingston benefited recently from
a fibre optic-based educational programme called The Konnecting Minds Project.

Participants of the Konnecting Minds 2013 programme being instructed by Elias Asher (left) on the wiring of panels to operate a fan unit.
Participants visit ATL Autohaus and get an experience of the mechanical field while touring the compound.
Participants and Mr Image after he led them through a session on proper attire for and decorum at the workplace.

Participants of the Konnecting Minds 2013 programme being instructed by Elias Asher (left) on the wiring of panels to operate a fan unit.

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For four years the Konnecting Minds Project, developed by Konnexx Services Limited (Konnexx), a telecommunication engineering company, has created educational experiences for many youths by inspiring them to overcome their educational and social difficulties in order to pursue a career in fibre optics engineering and the technical areas of communication.
According to Dean Nevers, director of Konnex, the educational programme that they provide is built on values of trust, respect, cooperation and non-violence that, when reinforced within the programme through career counselling, provides participants with the tools to become active and constructive citizens.
It aims to increase retention rates and job opportunities for youth who have dropped out of school or were part of a marginalised population at risk of becoming dependent on Jamaica's social system.
The students, with ages ranging from 15 to 19, were drawn from various high schools including Jamaica College, Ardenne High School, Kingston College, Tivoli Gardens High School, Calabar High School, Hillel Academy, Campion College, Wolmer's Boys' School, Excelsior High School, Papine High School and The University of London.
The students were placed in groups and given a mandate to develop mock companies which executed various activities showcasing management and marketing skills. The two major outputs were the designing and marketing of solar panels and the planning and execution of a fashion show.
"Upon entering the programme, many of us didn't know what it would entail. We were all nervous, but excited for what would come our way. Each day we were given guidance and vision on how to pursue future endeavours. Our thought process was transformed from our amateur level of thinking as we grew with each lesson given. The programme was designed to foster teamwork. We learned the importance of recognising strengths and weaknesses in team members and tapping into the strengths while trying to improve the weaknesses to achieve a common goal," said Daniel Mothersill, a representative from Solar Max, which
was one of the mock companies formed.
Elias Asher and Ramone Spaulding of Testla Tech, another mock company, agreed that being a part of
the Konnecting Minds Programme was an extraordinary experience.
"The programme never failed to astonish us. When it was not generating electricity via solar panels, it was learning mixed martial arts or hiking in the serene mountains of Hollywell. Who could forget the dancer or the physical trainer who left us all in pain? We experienced an enchanting plane ride at the Caribbean Aviation Training Centre and to be designers and stars of an epic fashion show. These are just a few of the many activities we participated in," they said.
Team members from Marrack Services, the third mock company, felt that they were leaving the programme as better persons.
"We were introduced to local influential men and women in the business and development sphere on a daily basis. This not only cemented our realisation that there were no boundaries on what we can expect from ourselves, but also gave us the opportunity to interact with persons who may be able to propel us in our career endeavours.
"The Konnecting Minds team executed a programme that literally prepared us for the job world through the building of character, the embracing of responsibility and accountability, and helping us to understand the true meaning of standing out," said Roma Robinson and Ajournie Taylor, who represented the group.
Assistant project manager and programme mentor Giovanni Rimann said that he has enjoyed working with participants over the years and helping them to hone their skills.
"The Konnecting Minds programme was not only beneficial for these participants, but also greatly for me, as an assistant project manager working on it from the very beginning. Our team's main motive was to create an unrivalled experience that would impact the lives of all participants positively, so that their experience could be imparted on people around each and every student in their respective personal environments. On a separate note, these participants greatly developed their team-building skills and... their approach to their deliverables on projects. Over the four-week period, the students' working environment and social skills were immensely tested and developed from working on projects, and at the end, our team and most importantly Mr Dean and Mrs Sabrena Nevers were very proud of
the programme this year,"
he said.
He added that as an assistant project manager, he is grateful for the opportunity to impact others lives positively.
"Each time I get the privileged opportunity to manage real projects that impact the lives of others, I continuously learn how to be an effective project manager that delivers. This year's and previous year's programmes just get better and better and at Konnexx we see with our mentors that a programme like this is very instrumental in our modern society that prepares young adults to make good choices regarding their career choices and know what, exactly, to do when placed in a demanding working environment," Rimann said

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