Jeremy Chetram, Guest Experience Manager at Sandals Grenada, and a proud past student of the St John’s Christian Secondary School (SJCSS), seized the opportunity to outfit his alma mater with a newly dedicated Audio-Visual Laboratory, enhancing the learning environment for teachers and students alike.
Chetram proposed the renovation of a classroom to an audio-visual lab as a part of the Team Member Support Project organised through the Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International. The Team Member Support program supports sustainable community development projects suggested by employees of each Sandals Resort across the Caribbean. The newly upgraded facility at the SJCSS includes the provision of new desks and chairs, an energy-efficient air conditioning unit, painting, electrical work, and cosmetic enhancements to the room, totalling 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. Some people may criticize you and say ‘you’re from a country school,’ but don’t let that bother you. This school has generated a lot 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. “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 Jeremy 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 favour 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 audio-visual laboratory.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the project was stalled for a period of time. Despite the challenges, however, 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!” Augustine shared.
Chetram continued his motivational remarks noting, “To this day the values that I derived from this school, from morning devotions, the motivation and the respect we were taught – I have carried them into 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. I am proud that in 2020 I completed my Masters 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.”
He added, “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.”