We are very pleased to announce our support for the Alpha Institute. HELP Jamaica! is supporting and financing a screenprinting-for-development program which includes opportunities for creative expression and communications, team building workshops and internship opportunities for Alpha students.
The partnership seeks to ensure Alpha students have regular access to creative, community-minded training, tools and leadership skills building activities.
The workshops, which have already started in march, will soon be followed by internships for music students focused on developing practical vocational experiences to enhance communication, project management and music skills in marketing and promotional context.
Margaret Little Wilson, administrator of the Alpha Institute, says the Help Jamaica relationship is critical to the holistic culture at Alpha. Opportunities for creative expression and self reflection are needed for effective personal and professional development.
“We are eager to develop the whole person,” says Mrs Little Wilson, “Through the establishment of communication and creative workshops and vocational internships based around the screen printing, music and the arts broadly, Help Jamaica is helping connect our students with life changing moments, the experience of which will enable them to negotiate vocational and personal situations long after their school experience is complete.”
With the new partnership HELP Jamaica! wants to encourage creativity, talent, hope, ambition and excellence at Alpha. Screenprinting can be more than a trade, a pathway to entrepreneurship, community building and sustainability. HELP Jamaica! is proud to invest in these opportunities and is honoured to partner with the Alpha Institute.
The program’s creative and vocational development activities include group screenprinting workshops that emphasize communication and team building. The workshops are now underway and being led by Alpha’s screenprinting department. Positive results are evident after just a few sessions. Mrs Sharon Pryce, the Director of Guidance and Assessment at the Alpha Institute, says the screen printing activities provide a platform for communication in which everybody is learning something new.
“For educational and vocational training to be successful one has to be ready to learn,” said Mrs Pryce. “Oftentimes we bring to the classroom our own limitations without intending to. The workshops being put in place with the support of HELP Jamaica! assist in breaking down communication barriers and more quickly prepare our students to learn. This will also empower students to become better employees when they are in the workforce. In effect, we are all learning to learn together which is a rewarding experience in and of itself.”
Looking ahead, Alpha and HELP Jamaica! will begin implementing internships for music students. The internships will ask music students to apply their music performance and technology training to marketing and sales activities on behalf of Alpha screenprinted products such as tee shirts and bags.
The HELP Jamaica! internships offer a value added benefit to the school as well because the outcomes of the internship will be increased public awareness and sales. For its entire 139-year existence, Alpha has emphasized self-help and entrepreneurship. The new internship created by Help Jamaica allows Alpha to engage with its time tested model for success while planning for a more sustainable future.