NCB Insurance Applauds It! with John Mills students

Wednesday Social

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

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Day two of Applaud It! got underway at the NCB Wellness and Recreational Centre where students of John Mills Infant, Primary & Junior High School were hosted by NCB Insurance CEO and Managing Director Vernon James. “This could be considered an early Christmas lunch,” said Novia McDonald-Whyte, Applaud It! conceptualiser and senior associate editor, lifestyle and social content, Jamaica Observer Limited, as the substantial three-course lunch prepared by Marlene Foster Gourmet Caterers was served to the 10 students in attendance. Joining James and McDonald-Whyte were members of the NCB team — Tracy Spence, vice-president of investments, NCB Capital Markets; Christopher Vendryes, sales and bancassurance manager, NCB Insurance; Desmond Johnson, business development manager — group line, NCB Insurance; Vivienne Brown, assistant to the CEO & Managing Director, NCB Insurance; and Anntonette Cowan-Palmer, regional manager — Region 1, NCB Insurance. The students were chaperoned by acting vice-principal Marcia Ennis.

James is not only charming but he's also great with kids. He immediately broke the ice by asking how the students were dealing with preparing for Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examinations. This question allowed any nervousness to which the children clung to dissipate and a rousing conversation ensued. Student Tianna Willis noted that PEP, “is different as it requires critical thinking and it's not easy for people to copy shaded answers!” The students then discussed the amount of homework that they are expected to complete each day in addition to school projects and studying. James consoled by saying, “Hard work makes you better and well-rounded.”

James spoke about his time at St Richard's Primary where his prowess was more in athletics than academics. He mentioned that he struggled with maths up until high school at Wolmer's Boys' School despite being the fastest runner in first form. This statement excited Demar Hall who, too, is a promising track star and who, despite his small stature, beat all the boys bigger than him in a recent track and field meet. More than half of the students have an interest in track and spoke about times when they fell during meets; however, they got up and finished the race. James shared that he had stumbles as well; however, it was more important to finish the race. This maxim would later come full circle when James inspired the youngsters to never give up but stay the course and actualise their dreams.

Not only were the students inspired, but they also received instructions on formal dining from McDonald-Whyte. On the placement of napkins, fun fact: the napkin is folded in half before being placed on the lap for luncheons and left open for dinner. Plus, it can be placed high to protect both ties and uniform shirts. Knowledge! By the end of lunch, the young ladies and gentlemen understood how to properly eat soup, use a knife and fork, as well as the right way to eat their bread roll. For lunch the students enjoyed a starter of cream of pumpkin soup; the main course comprised of chicken teriyaki, stir-fried fish and vegetables, honey-baked ham, yellow rice pilaf, macaroni and cheese, baked plantains with cinnamon and fresh garden salad; and for dessert, strawberry cheesecake.

It was an afternoon well-spent and the students appreciated being hosted by NCB Insurance. We reckon, they were excited to get back to school to share snippets of their afternoon with friends.

Applaud It! is a “week-long initiative that provides a unique opportunity for industry leaders to meet the next generation exactly where they are at and guide them through an awesome experience that exposes them to social and dining skills”.

Wednesday Social has highlights of yesterday's luncheon.

The event series continues today when students of Tivoli Gardens High School will be hosted by Ruth Hussey and Christelle Harris at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel.

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