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The UWI Open Campus Outreach Programme

The UWI Open Campus Outreach Programme

Facilitator and Coordinator of the Preparing Today for Tomorrow’s Challenges Programme which is designed to transform children’s lives, Mrs Sandra Griffith-Carrington was conducting the Basic Business Etiquette session with the students at Princess Margaret Secondary School which is among the six schools currently enrolled in the programme - Coleridge & Parry, Frederick Smith, St. George Secondary, The Ellerslie School and The St. Michael School.

Over the past six months, the schools were taught each component (Presenting Yourself Properly, Personal Branding, Effective Communication inclusive of telephone and email etiquette, Dealing with Difficult Persons, Conflict Resolution, Social Media, Social Graces and Professional Ethics, Personal Financial Matters, Resumé Writing and The Interview and Wardrobe Management) and each school benefitted from the programme.   Today Mrs Griffith-Carrington was expressing gratitude to her very supportive team of colleagues, all UWI Alumni, who work assiduously with her to teach the courses (Ms Nesha Yearwood, Ms Aisha Estwick, Ms Shelly-Ann Roberts, Ms Sandra Osborne and Mr Alex Cumberbatch) and to the team of colleagues who assisted financially but prefer anonymity.  

Mrs Griffith-Carrington eagerly expressed gratitude to the media houses who gave excellent coverage of the Basic Dining Etiquette session.  For some students, this session afforded them their first-time experience of fine dining and using the full array of cutlery.  Thanks were expressed to Mr Rommel Carter, Registrar at the Cave Hill Campus who provided the lecture rooms for these sessions and to The Mount Restaurant (Caribbean Cruizine) for the discounted price given on the three-course meal and for agreeing to host a student intern.

She proffered special thanks to Dr Francis Severin, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Principal (ad interim) of the Open Campus who fully supports her in this outreach programme.  Beaming with joy, she especially thanked the Barbados Association of Future Office Professionals and two donors who responded with alacrity to her plea to come on board to ensure that ALL the students enrolled in the programme could benefit from the dining experience. 

BAFOP is a young Association celebrating its 28th year of existence.  The majority of their members are graduates of the PTFTC programme including 3 of its 5 Board members.  This year, BAFOP is hosting a special session for the students who were unable to benefit from their scheduled Basic Dining Etiquette session because of financial constraints exacerbated by the pandemic.  This event will occur on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, as part of their Observance of Administrative Professionals’ Week.

Mrs Griffith-Carrington is grateful for the gracious donation by Dr Arvat McClaine, author of “When Black Women Speak…The Universe Listens” who is the sole sponsor of the programme – she sponsors the Recognition Ceremony and underwrites the cost of the students who intern at the Open Campus. 

Further, Mrs Griffith-Carrington reiterated thanks to the companies who have agreed to host the successful students during the month of August for their internship; some of these companies are repeat customers.  She noted that the President of the Guidance Counsellor’s Association, Dr Patricia Welch, shared that there is a company whenever that needs entry-level employees specifically requests for graduates of the PTFTC.  She noted that there were students scheduled to intern for one month but have gained full-time employment.

She highlighted that currently at The Open Campus, Miss Keisha Trotman, who was on internship for the month of August 2021 continues to work with the Alumni Office.  She joyously added that she was especially happy that Miss Trotman was sharing the presentation with her and was presented to the students the correct way to lay the table for fine dining and at least three ways to fold napkins.  Miss Keisha Trotman, from the Coleridge & Parry School, who was a 2020/2021 graduate, shared that the knowledge she gained from each session of the programme was beneficial and was extremely thankful to the Open Campus for her extended internship.  She emphasised that the programme taught her the theoretical aspect but highlighted the experience gained from actually working.

Administrative Assistant in the Alumni Office, Mrs Shakita Taylor, who took up this position exactly four months ago was thankful for the opportunity to work with the programme.  She noted that it was evident that some students were not privileged to experience formal dining.  Speaking as a mother of a teenage daughter, Mrs Taylor opined that the programme gives balance to the lives of the students; thus ensuring that they are ready for life both academically and socially.

In her closing statement, Mrs Griffith-Carrington made a final plea to the government and corporate Barbados to embrace the PTFTC-TCL programme as part of their social and corporate responsibility.  “Help us to help our youth by donating to the PTFTC programme geared to transforming children’s lives.  Let’s make a difference in the lives of our youth”.

To support this programme you may reach out to Sandra Griffith Carrington at the email sandra.griffith-carrington@alumni.uwi.edu


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