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Minister of Education Ruel Reid commits $50 Million to Jamaica National Robotics Jamaica's STEM


Minister of Education Ruel Reid commits $50 Million to Jamaica National Robotics Jamaica's STEM initiatives get a spectacular boost in response to JCOBA-NY's request

New York, NY, 11 March 2017 – – The SVA Theatre in Manhattan rocked Saturday, April 8 as the Jamaica College Old Boys Association of New York, Inc. (JCOBA-NY) hosted The GriffysTM, its annual fund-raising event. Patrons experienced an eye-catching mix of political and business star power, great musical performances, and a brilliant film, all undergirded by JCOBA-NY's featured robotics program aimed at national workforce development. The event's patron, Ambassador Audrey Marks had opening remarks.

A highlight of the evening was a soul-stirring presentation by Minister of Education Hon. Ruel Reid. Within a wide-ranging address on problems and solutions to Jamaica's education system he responded to a clarion call from JCOBA-NY leadership for Government support of robotics, Minister Reid pledged JA$50 Million in new funding for the nationwide robotics project sparked by the Association.

In the awards section of the program the honorees were:

  • Hon. Minister Reid – Man of The Decade in Education Award

  • Perry Henzell - Distinguished Alumnus Award (accepted by his widow, Sally Henzell)

  • Winston Stona – Distinguished Alumnus Award

  • Andrew Ewen – Technology Innovation Award

The Griffin AwardsTM (The GriffysTM) celebrates the achievements of Jamaicans in the arts, community services, education and technology. According to incoming JCOBA-NY President Carl Bennett "Our Association has been marked by innovation and thinking outside the box since its inception in 1990. That innovation is stronger than ever today via our robotics program, which is now igniting a national movement. Our unique and exciting fund-raising format marks a watershed moment for the Association and is symbolic of our relentless focus on driving innovation. I am committed to continuing to drive further innovations during my tenure as we pursue our strategic goals to enhance opportunities afforded to our youth in Jamaica."

A screening of The Harder They Come, to mark its 45th anniversary, headlined the dynamic entertainment package. The screening recognized the central role played in the film by two JC alumni and honorees, Perry Henzell and Winston Stona. Sally Henzell and noted filmmaker Stephanie Black participated in the screening.

Contact: Jamaica College & JCOBA-NY Inc.

Founded in 1795, Jamaica College is a prominent high school in Jamaica with a proud record of service to Jamaican society. Its graduates have an unmatched history of nation-building, creating key Jamaican institutions in politics, civil service, business, culture and social services.

Since 1990 JCOBA-NY has supported educational and extracurricular programs at Jamaica College through project design, fundraising and technical assistance. JCOBA-NY is a NYS registered, tax exempt charitable organization under Section 501 (c) (3) of the IRS tax code.

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