The Nestlé Jamaica Health and Wellness Foundation awarded and recognised the company’s outstanding interns at its Graduation and Awards Ceremony last week at the company’s head office in Kingston. Forty students were honoured which included 18 culinary students that formed part of Nestlé’s Young Culinary Talents Programme (YOCUTA), all under the Global initiative “Nestle Needs You(th) Programme”.
Due to the outstanding work displayed by many of these interns, the Foundation decided to award a few surprise bursaries to the top 3 students that displayed outstanding work ethic identified by their line managers:
1st Place - $100,000- Francene Daley
2nd place - $50,000- Raynaldo Mills
3rd Place - $25,000- Devonte Webster
The Top 3 culinary interns also received 3 bursaries toward their educational future:
1st Place - $100,000- Crystal Smith
2nd place - $50,000- Sharmarley Cooper
3rd Place - $25,000- Amiri Dawkins
Garfene Grandison, General Manager of Nestlé Jamaica Health & Wellness Foundation, explained that over 500 hundred internship applications were received.
“After a process of shortlisting and several interviews, the interns were selected on the basis of industry needs, community involvement and financial need,” said Grandison.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Grandison was elated as he spoke about the 2019 staging of the programme. "Today we highlight the achievements of every intern being awarded here today. Your spirits represent what the foundation looks for in the future generation and is a testament to the fulfilment of the foundation’s vision “To be recognised as Jamaica’s leading socially responsible company focused on Nutrition, Health and Wellness.”
Ricardo Nembhard, Country Business Lead for Nestlé Professional, the patron for the YOCUTA programme further outlined that in response to Nestle’s commitment to creating shared value, the YOCUTA Programme was created to identify, train and develop young culinary talent to maximize the potential as budding chefs.
“It gives me great pride and joy to know that Nestle Professional has had such a positive impact on the lives of young culinarians, enhancing your skills and paving the path towards building an exciting career in the food service industry. We recognize the importance of such programmes and the impact it has on the development of our society, and WE are dedicated to the continued success of this initiative to further contribute to the advancement of youth in Jamaica,” he stated.
Grandison further charged the intern cohort to make meaningful contributions to the society using the experience that they received at Nestlé Jamaica to propel them to the next level. “As successful interns who have now garnered some work experience (and a little extra dollars), I challenge you to take your place in your respective institutions as contributors to the labour force, using the knowledge, experience and passion learnt here and taking it to wherever you are planted, whether back to school or to another place of employment,” he ended.
Crystal Smith, who won the “So You Think You Can Cook” competition, was also awarded a permanent contract with Nestle Jamaica. She said “my expectations were not just met, they were exceeded, and I want to thank the Nestle family, for making such tremendous investments into our lives. We will be forever changed by this experience.”