NGC’s I2A progamme targets La Brea youths

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Minister of Labour, Stephen Mc Clashie, with young La Brea candidates at the launch of National Gas Company I2A programme on Saturday. – Photo by Marvin Hamilton

ONE hundred La Brea youths, between the ages of seven and 17, are set to participate in a programme that exposes them to coding, entrepreneurship and STREAM (science, technology, research, engineering arts and mathematics) education.

On Saturday, the National Gas Company Ltd (NGC) launched its Inspire-2-Achieve programmed, also called the I2A, at the National Energy Skills Centre (NESC) in Vessigny, La Brea.

The programme targets youth within the NGC’s fenceline communities through skills-training and education on weekends and after-school.

Apart from STREAM, the modules also have teachings on sustainability, entrepreneurship and life skills and career coaching.

The three-year programme starts in January.

NGC president Mark Loquan said education and youth development are two of the pillars on which NGC’s corporate social responsibility programmes are built.

“We believe investing in youth is critical for the sustainability of our organisation, our communities, and the society.”

He recalled that in 2020, the NGC Group supported the Education Ministry’s No Child Left Behind initiative to help provide electronic devices for students throughout TT.

That initiative ensured they continued to receive an education during the pandemic.

Loquan said the I2A programme, as the name implies, is about inspiration.

“We hope to stimulate the imagination of the youths and unlock their creative potential. We aim to inspire youths to dream big and to equip them with the knowledge and skills to transform their dreams into reality,” he said.

“I2A is an integrated programme that delivers different co-curricular learning streams to spark the interest of the young participants towards careers and business opportunities in the digital and green space.”

Loquan said La Brea was selected as the starting community for the I2A programme because of the “special place” that community holds in the history of TT’s energy sector, and its significance to the NGC Group.

“In a sense, we have come full circle – back to the place where the energy industry had its genesis, to launch a programme that is laying the foundation for the future energy industries.”

At the end of the programme, the company plans to work with stakeholders to establish a STREAM Lab, also in La Brea, to advance digital and sustainability learning further.