140-year-old Alpha Institute to receive assistance

The Consulate of Jamaica in Philadelphia, on February 12, formalised its commitment to raise capital for the Alpha Institute in Jamaica, so that it can continue to provide training and other opportunities for the young men it serves.

The 140-year-old Institute, formerly known as the Alpha Boys’ School, has a long history of helping young men take control of their future through a mix of social services, and academic and skills training, including music.

Members of the Alpha Band perform during the Letter of Intent signing ceremony among the Consulate of Jamaica in Philadelphia; the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) and the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange (JSSE), to raise capital for the Alpha Institute. Enjoying the performance (from left) are Jamaica’s Honorary Consul in Philadelphia, Christopher Chaplin; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ambassador Marcia Gilbert-Roberts; and Managing Director, Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), Marlene Street Forrest.

A Letter of Intent on Cooperation was signed by the Consulate; the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) and the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange (JSSE), during a ceremony at the JSE’s office, 40 Harbour Street in downtown Kingston.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Managing Director, JSE, Marlene Street Forrest, explained that the initiative seeks to propel funding and support for the social stock exchange, but specifically Alpha School of Music.

 She said through the JSSE, it is hoped that social donors will participate in the future growth and sustainability of the noble institution.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ambassador Marcia Gilbert-Roberts (seated left); and Managing Director, Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), Marlene Street Forrest (seated right), sign the Letter of Intent formalising a commitment to raise capital for the Alpha Institute. The signing by the Consulate of Jamaica in Philadelphia; the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) and the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange (JSSE) was formalised at a ceremony held at the JSE’s office, 40 Harbour Street in downtown Kingston. Observing (from left) are Jamaica’s Honorary Consul in Philadelphia, Christopher Chaplin; Executive Director, Alpha Institute, Suzan Frazer; and Chairman, JSSE, Professor Neville Ying.

“We feel confident that with the signing of the Letter of Intent, which will lead to a memorandum of understanding between the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange and the Consulate of Philadelphia, we will place a direct focus on the raising of funds for the Alpha School of Music project and that the funding will be realised shortly,” Mrs Street Forest added.

Meanwhile, Jamaica’s Honorary Consul in Philadelphia, Christopher Chaplin, said the strategy is to approach the diaspora as well as Foundations in the United States to raise capital for the Institute.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ambassador Marcia Gilbert-Roberts (centre), addresses the signing ceremony of a Letter of Intent by the Consulate of Jamaica in Philadelphia, the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), and the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange (JSSE) to raise capital for the Alpha Institute. The ceremony took place at the JSE’s office, 40 Harbour Street, in downtown Kingston. Listening (from left) are Jamaica’s Honorary Consul in Philadelphia, Christopher Chaplin; and Managing Director, Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), Marlene Street Forrest.

“I believe that this is a worthy cause. I believe that this is something that we definitely want to do, and I believe with hands and hearts together, we will be able to accomplish something good, something worthwhile for Alpha and our country,” he said.

He noted that the Consulate will be recommending two Advisory Board members who will serve on the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange and the Alpha Institute, adding that volunteers have already expressed an interest to assist with raising capital.

For her part, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ambassador Marcia Gilbert-Roberts, said the initiative will assist social development that will foster greater development in the country.

“We take boys wherever they are, no matter what’s going on, and we work with all of them with their own special needs.”

— Executive Director, Alpha Institute, Suzan Frazer

Executive Director, Alpha Institute, Suzan Frazer, expressed appreciation for the support, noting that it will allow the Institute to continue assisting disenfranchised boys in the society.

“We take boys wherever they are, no matter what’s going on, and we work with all of them with their own special needs, with their own special difficulties, with their own special reality, and we do not try to bend them to the fact that they cannot come if they cannot perform to this particular standard,” she said.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ambassador Marcia Gilbert-Roberts (left), greets Managing Director, Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), Marlene Street Forrest, at the signing of a Letter of Intent by the Consulate of Jamaica in Philadelphia; the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) and the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange (JSSE) to raise capital for the Alpha Institute. The ceremony took place at the JSE’s office, 40 Harbour Street in downtown Kingston. Observing are Executive Director, Alpha Institute, Suzan Frazer (background, left) and Chairman, JSSE, Professor Neville Ying.

Chairman, JSSE, Professor Neville Ying, said one of the value propositions of the JSSE is to provide the diaspora with an opportunity to contribute meaningfully to Jamaica’s development.

He noted that the best areas of interest for the diaspora, apart from remittances, are health and education.