CORPORATE titan and executive chairman of the Hope Zoe Preservation Foundation, Kenny Benjamin, challenged students last week Saturday "to cultivate good work ethics, good home-grown values, simple decency, and to commit to country in everything you do".
Benjamin, who hosted more than a dozen students to lunch at the Serengeti restaurant, Hope Zoo, as part of Jamaica Observer Salut! Applaud It! initiative, spoke to his journey from his native India to Jamaica over 40 years ago. He said: "In this country I became a man... What this country has taught me over the years is that nothing is impossible if you put your heart, sweat, and sometimes tears into making it happen."
"The restoration of the zoo is a commitment of love and dedication from me to my country. As a people, each and every one of us has a responsibility to protect the less vulnerable among us, including the environment that we continue to destroy daily. We should have in the forefront of our minds that for every tree that is cut down, two more are planted to replace that one. That is part of our responsibility in nation-building, and I want you as young people to define what you can and will do; what will be your contribution, your legacy...what will be your solutions to the many challenges that face us today?"
Benjamin closed his remarks by "posting an ad":
A commitment to country
A buy-in to the development of the country
A commitment to school, volunteerism
A recommitment to Brand Jamaica
"I am posting this ad," he explained, "because I believe that we all have a responsibility to make this country great".