It was a memorable first day for 30 students who turned up for The Source Savanna-la-Mar one-week summer camp recently.
The students were privy to an exclusive opportunity to meet United States Ambassador to Jamaica Luis G. Moreno.
Organised by Peace Corps volunteer Jordan Waldschmidt, the ambassador addressed the students and participated in an interactive question-and-answer session, as well as a photo opportunity.
Incoming grade-seven student at Frome Technical High School Beatrice Cummings described the visit as “unforgettable”.
“I really feel good because I got to meet Ambassador Moreno. I enjoyed the way he spoke to us and the interesting things he shared about his love for Jamaica, as well as his responsibilities as a United States ambassador. He seems like a fun person,” said Cummings.
Moreno said the moment resonated well with him, and he recalled his early involvement in summer camps as a student and teacher. He implored the students to gain as much international exposure to enhance their marketability and skills to build their country as possible.
“Go and discover the world. Study abroad if you can, and come back to Jamaica with solid experiences and international exposure. It is nothing like going back to where you are from, to give back and share what you know and have learned, to uplift your community, peers and country.”
Spending more than 30 years travelling around the world, Ambassador Moreno struck a chord with the students when he cited Jamaica as being one of the nicest places he has ever worked.
“The best thing about Jamaica is the people, and when they smile, you know it is real. Some parts of the world, you don’t really know what that smile means and what they want to do,” he said.
“People say Jamaica is so beautiful, with its beaches and mountains, and when I was assigned to Jamaica, I made a vow to visit every single Peace Corps project that I could, and all the parishes in Jamaica, to be able to see the island and to interact with the people. The most important natural resource Jamaica has is the people, especially you, the young people,” he said.
A participant in the JN Foundation’s Social Enterprise Boost Initiative, The Source Savanna-la-Mar is a community-based and operated resource centre, that promotes educational and professional advancement of students and adults based on its offerings and ease of accessibility.
Julien Pringle, centre administrator, said the ambassador’s visit was the perfect start to the summer camp. Incorporating presentations from influential persons, along with arts and academic subjects taught by volunteers, the summer camp has been greatly anticipated by students for the last three years.