When Norval Mendes took the mic last Saturday at the NCB Foundation’s Youth Empowerment Summit (YES), no one expected the powerful testimony of struggle and victory that would follow.
“I can see you standing here right now. I was half this size when I attended the first YES staging in 2017,” says Mendes. “When I entered college, I had very little money to buy lunch. [of the West Indies, Mona Campus], and it affected my mental health. Thinking about how I would find the money to buy my next meal drove my study focus crazy. “
But Mendez didn’t let the despair he felt control the outcome of his life.
“So many ideas were born after attending the summit. I wanted to be a change, so I started down the path of finding sustainable solutions. You have a choice: either succumb to the problems you face, or be a game changer,” continues Mendes.
Mendez, along with his wife, Claudine, who is also an NCB Foundation scholar, found purpose in launching Food Pantry in 2017 to address the food insecurity issues facing college students. The initiative began by collecting food donations and distributing them to students, then adopted by the Grace Kennedy Foundation as UWI, his GK of the Student Union at Mona Campus, his Campus Connect Food Bank.
Five years ago, they also founded a digital solutions agency, DigiTalawah, providing digital marketing services to startups, small businesses and large corporations looking to increase their online presence.
The couple offers software development, app development, business email setup, social media management, and website security.
But Mendez credits his soulmate, Claudine, as a key driver for their innovative venture. did.
When he invited her to the mic, she captivated the audience with the sheer strength of her belief in their dreams and aspirations.
“I believe in him because he is the type of person who is tenacious and will try to overcome any adversity. ‘ said Claudine.
The Mendez family is grateful to have started by supporting a range of NCB Foundation programs, including the Major Scholarships and Grants Program and the Level Up Grant Program.
The Mendes were part of 200 attendees who attended the second staging of the Youth Empowered Summit (YES) on Saturday, November 19, 2022.
This hybrid event facilitated in-person and online engagement with past beneficiaries of a range of NCB Foundation programs, including the CSEC National Bursary Programme. Scholarships and Grants Program; Amber HEART Coding Academy Partnership. Level Up Grant Program and Grant A Wish Program.
Attendees participated in discussions with leading financial expert Kalila Reynolds. Mental health coach Crystal Tomlinson and digital mogul Alicia Little discuss how to understand, manage, and improve your mental health, wealth, and digital skills. The discussion was moderated by Emprezz Golding, his Youth Ambassador and NCB Foundation Trustee.
The NCB Foundation has invested over $1 billion in education to date and is now focused on playing a key role in enabling Jamaica’s digital transformation by expanding the pool of digital producers. I’m here. The Youth Empowerment Summit is one of many initiatives the Foundation supports Jamaican youth in aligning with its mandate.