Jamaica College Old Boys Association of New York hosts Griffin AwardsTM at Manhattan Gala, April 8th, 2017

Minister of Education Hon. Ruel Reid headlines an outstanding cast of honorees

The Jamaica College Old Boys Association of New York, Inc. (JCOBA-NY) will host its annual fund-raising event, Saturday, 8 April 2017, at the SVA Theater in Manhattan. The affair is under the distinguished patronage of Her Excellency, Ambassador Audrey Marks.

Re-branded as The Griffin Awards (The Griffys) it celebrates the achievements of Jamaicans in the arts, community services, education and technology. Breaking from traditional dinner-dance alumni formats, The Griffys has a modern awards structure. A screening of Jamaica’s most iconic film, The Harder They Come, to mark its 45th anniversary, headlines the dynamic entertainment package. The screening recognizes the central role played in the film by two Jamaica College (JC) alumni, Perry Henzell and Winston Stona.

Ms. Trudy Deans, Consul General for New York will lead NY-based luminaries in attendance. Main honoree and special guests are Senator The Honourable Ruel Reid CD., JP, Minister of Education, Youth and Culture, accompanied by Mrs Reid. Senator Reid will receive The Man of The Decade in Education award for his phenomenal achievements in that important sector.

Technology takes center stage with Excelsior High School alum Andrew Ewen slated to receive the Technology Innovation award. Mr. Ewen is the Co-Founder & CEO of the Kobi Company, inventor and developer of the award-winning Kobi robot, the world’s first autonomous, 3-in-1 lawn and garden care device.

Commenting on the event’s significance, Michael McDonald president of JCOBA-NY remarked, “We’re very pleased to recognize the achievements of such a stellar group of alumni and accomplished Jamaicans. It’s particularly joyful for our Association to host once again Senator Ruel Reid, a brilliant education leader. His service in engineering the turnaround at JC has our eternal gratitude and utmost respect”.

Leveraging its critically acclaimed robotics project at JC introduced in 2009, JCOBA-NY is participating in an effort led by the Union of Jamaican Alumni Associations (USA) Inc. to introduce robotics islandwide.

“Robotics has opened the door to the growth of STEM as a key element of educational programs across the globe. Jamaica College and its Old Boys have been a leader and the inspiration of this initiative for Jamaica and for UJAA. Introduced to UJAA by JCOBA in 2010 and embraced by then president, Karlene Largie, we are thankful for their ongoing inspiration and commitment” stated Lesleyann Samuel, President – UJAA.