Applaud It! An Energy Renaissance

Thursday, November 23, 2017

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“Believe in yourselves,” charged JPS CEO Emanuel DaRosa as he welcomed nine young ladies from The Merl Grove High School — all members of the school's Energy Club — to his third-floor boardroom. “It was my belief in my own ability to succeed that propelled me from the small island of San Miguel [Portugal] to [becoming] a young boy fascinated with energy (I played with electricity but did not quite understand it) to emigrating to Canada with my parents and helming not one but two companies. Anything you set your mind to can be achieved. I am truly pleased to welcome you to this company and am particularly pleased that you will really be part of the fourth industrial revolution.”

DaRosa also informed of his own gender initiatives. “My company (in Canada) hired the first female lineman.” A title he would later change to the non-gender-specific 'power line technician'. Locally, the company will soon have a 50/50 executive team comprised of men and women — a first.

Buoyed by these revelations the ladies spoke of their own apprehension about joining the school's energy club, but also of their present confidence with grasping the knowledge, and of wanting to hone their skills and become electrical engineers. In fact, Shachelle McLean, president of the Merl Grove High School Energy Club, confessed that her dream was to sit in DaRosa's chair. She would, however, start the journey with a photo with him. “No time like the present, appeared to be her credo as she left her seat to request the photo. “Believe in yourselves,” repeated the president & CEO as he not only obliged but handed her two business cards, one with his name and position, the other with his name inked out, and replaced with hers. McLean had not only seized the opportunity but, inspired by her meeting DaRosa, had set her own career trajectory.

Using recipes from Kamila McDonald's Wake Up and Live book, a mind-body-spirit approach to lifestyle change, caterer Theo Smith caressed the taste buds with hearty Royal Red Peas Soup, elevated the culinary narrative with the Coconut Curried Chicken with Rainbow Quinoa Salad and Roasted Chickpea Wrap with thyme aioli, and satisfied the sweet tooth with Avocado Nice Cream and Pink Bounty Bars.

It was now time for Certified Personal Trainer & Sports Nutritionist Kamila McDonald to share her story of triumph over body weight issues, of losing weight but not healing emotionally, and of the importance of positive affirmation. “Put health first. You're facing the largest global health epidemic of our lifetime. Young people like yourselves are faced with major illnesses and shorter lives. It's imperative that you honour and hone your bodies,” she advised.

Students were each presented with a copy of the e-book version of Wake Up & Live as well as the theme song Wake Up & Live by Kelissa featuring Jessie Royal.

As the ladies made their way to the President & CEO's office to try out his chair for size there was no disputing the success of yet another staging of Applaud It!

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