Students’ projects and a $250,000 donation for eight schools
Almost a quarter-of-a-million dollars was handed out to local schools by leading global reinsurer PartnerRe Ltd on November 30.Berkeley, Saltus and CedarBridge students worked on restoring native habitats by culling invasive plants and planting new plants, while pupils at Bermuda Institute, Mount Saint Agnes, and Bermuda High School for Girls worked on restoring the creative elements of the environment by painting and upgrading areas.
The company hosted a cocktail reception in the City Hall foyer to showcase students' experiences and to celebrate the schools that had participated in the company's Dollars For Hours project this year.
Eight schools received $30,000 each for the hard work their students put in to successfully completing their outstanding projects. The projects ranged from environmental schemes, and health-related initiatives to working with children and the disabled. During the reception Junior Education Minister Laverne Furbert stated of the Dollars for Hours programme: “I think it's a great project. Anything that encourages students to give back to the community is a good thing. It's what we need more of, public-private partnerships.”
The eight schools that participated in the Dollars for Hours project were The Berkeley Institute, Bermuda High School for Girls, Bermuda Institute, CedarBridge Academy, Mount Saint Agnes Academy, Saltus Grammar School, Somersfield Academy and Warwick Academy. The age group of the participants ranged from 14 to 18 years. The main focus of majority of the students was to reach out to the natural environment of Bermuda. Berkeley student, Quindreka Jennings, one of the students who worked with the Bermuda National Trust to remove invasive species from the Gladys Morrell Nature Reserve, stated that: “We learned new ways to preserve plants in our environment, especially our cedar trees.”
Other schools, such as Warwick Academy and Somersfield, did unique projects all together. Warwick Academy constructed and painted bluebird nest boxes, while Somersfield created an opportunity for seniors to write down their thoughts on what it means to be a senior living in Bermuda. These projects were very successful and brought many smiles to the faces of Bermudians.
“They asked me about my lifestyle and I told them that I was a retired carpenter, and that I even travelled to 73 countries around the world,” stated David Nisbett, 86, one of the seniors whose life story was recorded as part of the Somersfield project.
PartnerRe Chief Operating Officer Costas Miranthis praised the students, for “Some outstanding work, which will go a long way to enhancing the community.”
Now in its fifth year, The Dollars For Hours project has to date had over 800 students participating who contributed more than 10,000 hours to local charities for a total donation of $1 million.