Four University Students of Jamaican Heritage Win Free Trip to Jamaica & Summer Internship

This summer, GraceKennedy will host four university students of Jamaican heritage from the USA, UK and Canada for its annual Jamaican Birthright Programme.

Selected 2023 Interns

After an extensive selection process, which saw an overwhelming number of applications, four exceptional candidates were chosen to participate in the 2023 Birthright Programme: Logan Wright, University of Central Florida, USA; Bianca Byfield, Harvard University, USA; Samaya Miller, University of British Colombia, Canada; and Ras.I Martin, Oxford University, United Kingdom.

The participants will be immersed in various cultural experiences, including museum tours and weekend trips to historical and cultural sites across the island, enabling them to gain a deeper understanding of Jamaica. They will also intern at a GK subsidiary linked to their career interests.

Four University Students of Jamaican Heritage Win Free Trip & Summer Internship in Jamaica
Our 2022 GK Birthright interns (L-R): Jada Allison (USA), Olivia Hylton-Pennant (UK), Debbie Buck (Canada) and Chardonnae Deslandes (USA) with GK Brand Ambassador Ding Dong (centre) at the 2022 Jamaica Diaspora Conference GraceKennedy’s Chairman’s event.

A Career Start & Culture Tour

The five-week professional and cultural internship programme takes place in Jamaica between June 28 and August 7, and offers second and third generation Jamaican university students the unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience interning at GraceKennedy (GK), while immersing themselves in Jamaica’s rich culture.

Four University Students of Jamaican Heritage Win Free Trip & Summer Internship in Jamaica
Logan Wright (3rd from right) 2023 GK Birthright intern from the USA, receives tokens from Grace Foods and GK Foundation during his interview for the summer internship. Also pictured (L-R): Cheryl Wynter, Community Relations Officer at the Consulate General of Jamaica in Miami; Hazel Maragh, Marketing / Community Consultant at GK Remittance Services; Oliver Mair, Consul General of Jamaica, Southern USA; and GK Foundation Project Officer Crystal-Gayle Williams and CEO Caroline Mahfood.

Transforming Children of Jamaican Heritage Into Ambassadors

GK Group CEO Don Wehby commented, “Since 2004 we have hosted over 50 Birthright interns, who have all returned to their respective countries and become advocates for Jamaica. By offering this transformative experience year after year, GK is continuing to inspire the next generation of Jamaicans living in the diaspora to appreciate their ancestry and create a positive impact in their communities.”

Caroline Mahfood, CEO of the GraceKennedy Foundation (GKF), which coordinates the programme on GK’s behalf, agreed, explaining, “The selected students have demonstrated a genuine eagerness to engage with their Jamaican heritage. We believe that their participation on the programme will not only support their personal and professional growth but also deepen their connection with their Jamaican roots.”

Supported by Local & International Sponsors

The annual Birthright Programme is a collaboration between GraceKennedy and a number of public and private sector entities who also have a vested interest in nation building and engaging the Jamaican youth diaspora, including: the official airline partner, Caribbean Airlines; the exclusive transportation partner, Island Car Rentals; Jamaica Tourist Board; Jakes Hotel; Flow Jamaica; Juici Patties; Hi-Lo Food Stores; Grace Foods & Services; and World Brands Services.

“We appreciate all our partners who play an active role in ensuring that the selected participants have a well-rounded Jamaican experience,” added Mrs. Mahfood.

Photo – Grace Kennedy