Every year, Sandals Resorts gives its employees the opportunity to propose sustainable community development projects that will be supported by the Sandals Foundation (the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International).
For Jeremy Chetram, a proud past student of the St. John’s Christian Secondary School (SJCSS), this was a chance to seize the opportunity to outfit his alma mater with a newly-dedicated audio-visual laboratory, enhancing the learning environment for teachers and students alike.
Chetram was inspired to renovate a classroom into the audio-visual lab he envisioned. The recently upgraded facility at the SJCSS included the provision of new desks and chairs, an energy-efficient air conditioning unit, painting, electrical work, and cosmetic enhancements to the room, totaling a value of EC$20,000.
In sharing with students at the handover ceremony, Chetram spoke of school pride: “Whenever I have the opportunity to speak of my school, I feel so proud. You know, some people may criticize you and say, ‘you’re from a country school,’ but don’t let that bother you. This school has generated lots of excellent talent who are all over the world holding various positions. I want you to feel proud of the institution you’re a part of, and that’s why when the opportunity came up to do something for my school I seized it, and contacted the school, and found out what the need was.”
The inspiration and accompanying action appeared to be a case of divine timing, as relayed by school principal, Nerine Augustine, who shared: “Back in 2019, in our 5- year school development plan, one of the activities we wanted to accomplish was the creation of an audio-visual lab at our school. This was geared towards providing the best educational opportunities for our students, which involves the infusion of technology into teaching and learning. So in 2020 when Chetram reached out, we knew this goal could have been achieved.
“Now, here we are on this day of great exhilaration and praise to the almighty God for extending His favor on our school. On behalf of the staff and students of the St. John’s Christian Secondary School, it gives me tremendous pleasure to extend gratitude to the Sandals Foundation, for the assistance given in the refurbishment of one of our classrooms into an audiovisual laboratory.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project was stalled for a period of time. Despite the challenges, we are finally here today in our newly refurbished audio-visual room.
“We will forever cherish the assistance given to us by the Sandals Foundation.”
“The patience and dedication shown in the actualization of this project are worthy of high commendations. May God’s blessings be upon your organization. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
In his closing remarks, Chetram continued to motivate the students, stating: “To this day, the values that I derived from this school, from morning devotions, the motivation and the respect we were taught – I’ve carried it on to my working life. While your circumstances may not allow you to do something, always have that zeal to do more.
“When I left school, I started working, and my parents did not have the financial resources for me to continue my education. Nevertheless I kept working and kept pursuing educational opportunities bit by bit, and I am proud to say in 2020 I completed my Master’s in Business Administration at the St. George’s University, and for the last 3 years I have been the Guest Experience Manager at Sandals Grenada Resort. Regardless of the break that I had, I persevered.
“This lab is yours, make full use of it. Be proud of it and continue to wear your uniform with pride. It is my absolute pleasure to do something like this for my humble institution, and I will continue to offer my support.”