Photo Caption: Sasha-Kaye McCalla, (second left) marketing specialist at JN Money, shares a photo moment with some of the members of the St. Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) football team and the principal of the institution, Dr Worrell Hibbert, (far right) after a donation of back-to school supplies at the school’s library on September 6.
Amid the start of the schoolboy football season, educators at the St Andrew Technical High School are working to maintain a healthy balance between academics and sports performance.
Grade 11 coordinator at the St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS), Glenroy Williams, believes that talent on the pitch can be translated into performance in academics. He made the comment as he accepted back-to-school supplies on behalf of the school from local remittance company, JN Money, during a handover ceremony at the institution recently. JN Money, the largest Caribbean-owned remittance brand, provided supplies of backpacks, pencil cases, pens, pencils, water bottles, etc., through a partnership with one of its money transfer agents, The Service Pharm.
“An academic team has been formulated to help the students to balance school and sports life and excel in both, because if they can do well out there on the field, then they can use those tactics in the classroom to do well,” he said. “Your grades have to be up, you can’t just be good at the sports, so we are now focusing on them to ensure that they do well,” he explained.
STATHS has remained a consistent strong performer in schoolboy football over the years. They have won the Manning Cup once and consistently feature in the top four, ending last season in the finals against Jamaica College. Mr Williams said a concerted effort is being made to achieve similar performance in academics.
He said the school is catering to the boys’ social and psychological wellbeing and that guidance counsellors are on board to assist them.
Managing Director of The Service Pharm, who also manages the STATHS football team, Kashka Jones, pointed out that the supplies donated will also help to boost the resources available to students and teachers. He noted that several students who attend the school are from poor households in surrounding inner-city communities, and that the items will go a long way in offsetting some of the expenses.
“Our students are from communities like Greenwich Town, Tivoli Gardens, Denham Town, Delacree Pen, and many of the residents in those areas can hardly make ends meet and afford certain basic necessities. We know how expensive back-to-school expenses can be, and I am very happy to have JN Money onboard to assist our footballers with much-needed supplies for school,” he said.
Mr Jones, who is also a past student of STATHS, said the football programme at the school is a holistic one which caters to the students’ nutritional, physical, psychological and academic wellbeing.
“As part of our budget and framework, this back-to-school initiative is saving us, contributors, friends and family, a good amount of money. Every year we have to contribute something towards their back-to-school expenses, such as uniforms, shoes, bags and stationery, which you (JN Money) have satisfied,” he said.
Sasha-Kaye McCalla, marketing specialist at JN Money, highlighted that the partnership with The Service Pharm on the initiative is in its second year and has had meaningful impact on the students, parents and other primary stakeholders.
She told the footballers that it is important for them to display talent, not only on the field, but to also excel academically.
“The management team ensures that you have the extra support and tutoring so that you are not just talented in playing football but also develop the academic aspect of your life, which is important; it’s key,” she pointed out. “A lot of students don’t have this opportunity, so I implore you to make the most of it. You come here and we know you love football but academics is also important so ensure that everything you learn, you grow from it because you will become better adults in the future.”
She noted that JN Money is committed to building communities and giving back to the nation’s children, as well as supporting their agents.
“Our responsibility is to give back to communities, schools and you, our future,” she told the schools’ football squad at the handover. “The schools are a part of our communities where the future leaders, innovators, prime ministers and problem solvers are nurtured, and by donating to schools, we’re not only investing in education, but we are also investing in you.”
“At JN Money, we have the power to help to drive positive change by giving back to schools, and STATHS is one of the schools we support. We are very interested in supporting and developing young people,” she said.
Mr Jones noted that the STATHS football programme has been consistently successful over the years, with several students moving on to play at the local and international level, highlighting that one graduate from the last team is on a football contract in Slovenia.
He noted also that several students from the programme have moved on to further their studies in colleges overseas.