The Greater Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce has provided eight students a chance to intern with companies and get a head start in the business world. The students are nearing completion of a seven-week internship program and will receive certificates of completion at an awards ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 12.

They will also receive a letter of reference from the employers where they interned and a congratulatory letter from state Rep. Hazelle Rogers, D-District 94.

“We are seeking to create the entrepreneurial spark in these kids so some of them can become business people in their own right, as well as to educate them about what is expected of them in the workplace,” Linda Creary, secretary of the chamber, said in a statement.

The business group said it contacted high school guidance counselors and church youth leaders for recommendations on students who should be considered for the internship program.

Eight students from ninth through 11th grade were selected and attended a two-hour orientation session where they talked about why they wanted to enter the program and their areas of interest. The students were then matched with employers based on those interests. Each student was also assigned a mentor from the chamber whose responsibility has been to keep in touch with the interns and their supervisors at the intern sites.

The businesses partnering and serving as internship sites include McKinley Financial, Fort Lauderdale; Pearle Vision, Lauderdale Lakes; Beacon TV, Davie; Jamaica National  Money Transfer, Sunrise; Golden Krust Bakery, Lauderhill; Amerika Food Store, Lauderdale Lakes; Sigma Institute of Health Careers and Florida Career College.

As part of the internship, the Caribbean chamber was joined by the Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Lauderdale Lakes Chamber of Commerce in hosting an Intern Life Skills Seminar on July 13 and 14. The session was attended by the interns and their parents.

“This is a wonderful program. Kids need to be learning from a very early age the tools they will need to be successful,” Peter Nicholson, a vice principal at Perry Middle School in Miramar, said in the chamber’s statement announcing the internship. His son is in the program.

For more information on the GACC Student Internship Program or the chamber, call 954-730-8885 or visit

The seminar included the following topics:

“Effective Public Speaking”

Presenters were Roxanne Valies, current vice president and president-elect of the Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce and an adjunct professor at Strayer University; and John Davis, president, Lauderdale Lakes Chamber of Commerce and owner of ASA Computer Center.

Presented by  Levoyd Williams, vice mayor, Lauderdale Lakes

“Money Management”

Presented by Wayne Martin, Lauderhill branch manager,
City County Credit Union

“Conflict Resolution”
Presented by Brentley “Yiraiyah” Babb,
secondary educator and tutor

Presented by Michelle Jones, an executive chef.