February 27, 2015 – With a background in educating and working with at-risk youth in her native Canada, Susan Downing knows what is needed to provide students with the necessary skills to become small business entrepreneurs. She was recently profiled on Small Business Trendsetters about her plans to start a training program in Jamaica this summer.
The Trendsetters piece covered Downing’s over thirty years of experience in teaching and working with at-risk youth in British Columbia. Her programs focus on providing essential business skills that teach students how to acquire experience that will help them find a career and earn money. Now she is taking that knowledge and using it to start an education project at Waterford Primary in Portmore, Jamaica. Current plans call for forming a group of about fourteen students whom she will teach and mentor during May and June.
Since the program is limited in time, she is hoping to impart as many marketable skills as quickly as possible. One area she will focus on is learning how to form a business that can print and sell T-shirts. Jamaica does not have a welfare system or any government programs currently available to teach these skills; many children lack formal training and simply fall through the cracks. For many children in Jamaica, having a marketable skill such as this could mean the difference between abject poverty and financial stability.
“I am thrilled to be able to start this program at Waterford Primary,” commented Downing. “Instead of waiting for the government or charitable organizations to fill their needs, I hope to be able to provide these students with skills that will help them take care of their own needs. This program is vitally important, so I’ll teach as many job and business skills as I can in the time available to give them the best shot at success.”
Downing has a varied background which she believes will come in useful when training the Jamaican students. In addition to industrial education, she has experience as an electrician and dental assistant, and possesses skills such as sewing and crafting which can be helpful for students who wish to pursue a variety of career paths.
If the training in May and June is successful, Downing hopes to expand it to other schools and provide a long-term center of education for at-risk youth. For this year’s trip, she is requesting donations of financial support and supplies such as plain t-shirts, transfer paper and printers for the program. Donations need to be received in time for the program’s start at the beginning of May.
To learn more about Susan Downing or the Waterford Primary Program for At-Risk Jamaican Youth please visit: http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/susan-downing
Further information may be obtained on: +1-778-863-8534, or sending an email to email@example.com
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