“A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste” is a phrase coined by Arthur Fletcher, a former Head of the United Negro College Fund, which became the motto of organisation and was part of the most successful public service marketing slogans of all time. But what did it mean?
The implication was that even at the height of segregation across the U.S., there were many bright, capable African American youth whose potential would be lost if they couldn’t afford college. Over time, the message has transcended lines of race, gender and class, and is just as relevant today.
While the scourge these days is more poverty than segregation, the effects are just as debilitating. In the face of difficult economic times, many smart young children in Saint Lucia will not be able to afford a college education.
Therefore, in keeping with the Sandals’ Promise, this year the Sandals’ Foundation will continue to provide scholarships and bursaries for students around the island. For the 2017/2018 academic year, more than EC$30,000 has been invested in education for children because we agree that the mind is indeed a terrible thing to waste. From first form to tertiary level, these young people will have the opportunity to benefit from a solid contribution to their academic growth.
Just like the mind, the natural talent of our young people is also a terrible thing to waste and we see sport as another important avenue for development. Sandals continues to support the work of people like Trevor Daniel and Ron Du Merville with their ongoing programmes designed to engage children through football and basketball respectively.
Well over 400 children — ranging in age from 4 to 17 years old — actively participate in these sporting programmes. It was also our pleasure to join recently with other corporate citizens in providing assistance to young Qiana Joseph. Joseph, a student of the Corinth Secondary School, is developing her skill as the newest addition to the senior female West Indies cricket team. Sandals Resorts wishes her all success on her journey.
Natural talent is not restricted to the field of play, however, so Sandals is delighted to also work alongside the Corinth School Band.
“We have seen remarkable talent come through the school to perform for our guests here at Sandals,” said Regional PR Manager, Sunil Ramdeen. “So when the music teacher turned to us for help to equip the school band, it was not a difficult decision. In fact, we were more than pleased to assist the school with the purchase of a new March Band Ensemble.”
On receiving the EC$4,000 cheque, Mrs. Felicite Maraj, the school’s music coordinator, had this to say: “This equipment will go a long way toward motivating our students. It will make a wonderful surprise for the students when school reopens in September.”
It’s not just about the doors we can help open, but Sandals also understands that there is a need to go beyond, which is why we will continue to partner with organizations, like the Saint Lucia Crisis Centre, that implement groundbreaking programmes targeting at-risk youth and challenged mothers from in and around Castries. Sandals was pleased to be in a position to contribute well over US$80,000 to the Saint Lucia Crisis Centre for programmes that contribute to saving children, one mind at a time.
Another group we want to commend for the outstanding work it does in helping at risk persons in Saint Lucia is the Salvation Army. Within the past few years, Sandals has been humbled to help support this great organisation with support for its school feeding programme which benefits over 100 children.
According to head of the Salvation Army in St Lucia, Captain Derrick Mitchell, “We try to get them on their feet and help them grow in all areas of life. To this end, we try to develop meaningful partnerships with the corporate community as we need all the help we can get.”
In 2017, Sandals will again be supporting the annual Christmas lunch programme that the Salvation Army champions for those in need.