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JAM | Dec 5, 2023

JPS Foundation ‘power up’ high school energy clubs

Shemar-Leslie Louisy

Shemar-Leslie Louisy / Our Today

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JPS Foundation head Sophia Lewis (second right) joined her colleagues, director of corporate communications Winsome Callum (right) and Winston Blackwood (left), head of digital transformation and business effectiveness alongside students (from second left to right) Tyler Lynch of York Castle High, Zachary Walker from Calabar High, Amoy Thomas of Holy Childhood High and Sherene Gordon from Fern Court High to celebrate the launch of the JPS Foundation’s rebranded Power Up Energy Clubs last Tuesday at the University of the West Indies Regional Headquarters in Mona.(Photo: Contributed)

The Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Foundation, in a bid to nurture the next generation of climate-smart innovators, witnessed an overwhelming response to the launch of its rebranded Power Up Energy Clubs.

The event took place last Tuesday at The University of the West Indies Regional Headquarters in Mona, attracting over 150 students and 21 educators from 13 high schools across the island.

Executives from JPS, expressed enthusiasm, recognising the potential impact of fostering a connection between seasoned professionals and young minds. The event served as a platform for the students to gain insights into the dynamic world of energy ideation and explore expansive employment possibilities.

University of the West Indies Regional Headquarters (Photo: uwi.edu)

Winston Blackwood, head of digital transformation and business effectiveness at JPS, delivered an impassioned address to the packed audience. He said, “Challenge your intellect and broaden your horizons. The energy landscape is changing with resource depletion and environmental degradation.”

“The world needs your audacity. You are not here to just understand the status quo; you are here to disrupt it. Embrace the power of disruptive thinking to develop energy that is renewable and accessible to all,” he continued.

Dr Andre Coy, senior lecturer in the Department of Physics at The UWI Mona, commended the move to revive the energy clubs in secondary schools. He highlighted the club’s role in fostering critical thinking, irrespective of student background, and encouraged collaborative innovation.

Sophia Lewis, Head of the JPS Foundation, listens carefully to residents of the SOS Children’s Village, during a motivational talk \ (Photo: Contributed)

The launch featured interactive sessions led by experts in psychology, education, and business. Breakout sessions included discussions on mentorship, the role of teachers, and a comprehensive overview of the Power Up Energy Club’s extensive content.

Sophia Lewis, head of the JPS Foundation, in expressing her delight at the overwhelming response, said, “We were oversubscribed. We expected 11 schools to participate but had 13 schools attend. We had a turnout of over 200 participants, and they looked forward to what we had to share.”

“We also had 27 volunteers from JPS who are called ‘Volunteers On Location To Serve (VOLTS)’ who were eager to support the students and learn about mentorship and how they can help enhance the lives of the students.”

The JPS Foundation, which initiated the Energy Club programme nine years ago, aims to expand its reach by adding seven affiliates by the end of the 2024 academic year, bringing the total to 20 Energy Club chapters. The foundation envisions inter-club competitions and innovation challenges to further engage students and cultivate solutions to the challenges posed by climate change.

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