The Heroes Foundation

SCOTIABANK AND HEROES FOUNDATION CELEBRATE TRIUMPHS OF SOUTH EAST PORT-OF-SPAIN SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS

13th December 2023– Port-of-Spain:  The South East Port of Spain Secondary School (SEPOSSS) resonated with energy and pride as 25 student leaders celebrated the successful completion of their second year in the Heroes Development Programme (HDP) with the Scotiabank Foundation and the Heroes Foundation (Heroes).  

HDP is a 3-year youth intervention designed by Heroes with support from UNICEF to develop positive and purpose-driven young citizens.  The robust curriculum emphasises psychosocial and 21st-century skills development, sustainability education, career guidance, and youth-led projects for positive behaviour change.

Stephan Lalonde, Director of HR at Scotiabank and Director of the Scotiabank Foundation, speaking to a students at the South East Port of Spain Secondary School.

Stephan Lalonde, Director of HR at Scotiabank and Director of the Scotiabank Foundation, expressed his delight at the progress displayed by programme participants and emphasised Scotiabank’s unwavering commitment to community development, especially in nurturing the potential of the youth. 

At Scotiabank and the Scotiabank Foundation, we believe in making a tangible difference in the communities we serve. Investing in the future prosperity of our great country is not just a responsibility but a privilege,” stated Lalonde. “Our focus on youth is paramount because we firmly believe that when our young people thrive, we all benefit and share a brighter future.” 

Over the past year, the students showed remarkable growth in self-awareness and emotional awareness while developing safe, strong, and healthy relationships.  They were trained as climate champions to promote sustainable behaviours within their homes and the school, engaged in a hillside reforestation exercise, learnt how to prevent and respond to forest fires, and led several peace and unity activities within their school and with migrant youth across the country. 

Brian Lara with young cricket fans at the SAVE launch with the Heroes Foundation
Sashel, a Form 3 SEPOPSS HDP participant, receives her Certificate of Excellence from Stephan Lalonde, Director of HR at Scotiabank and Director of the Scotiabank Foundation

For Sashel, currently a Form 3 SEPOSSS student, the sessions on career planning and workplace etiquette were particularly insightful.

“Creating my career plan has made it easier for me to choose the subjects I want to do for CXC,” she explained. “But my favourite lesson was on climate change and global warming because now I know how I can do better for the environment and help fix the problems that we humans are creating.”

Brian Lara with young cricket fans at the SAVE launch with the Heroes Foundation
The Heroes Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Lawrence Arjoon, delivering feature remarks at the SEPOSS Awards.

Lawrence Arjoon, CEO of the Heroes Foundation, emphasised that HDP is designed for long-term impact and sustainable results by supporting and guiding young people through a critical development period.

“We’re grateful for Scotiabank’s commitment to long-term development and prevention-based solutions for the issues we are experiencing today,” he explained.  “Our HDP partnership at SEPOSSS is strategically focused on ensuring that future generations make better decisions and positively contribute to Trinidad and Tobago.  Together, we are enabling the values, skills, and behaviours we need for a safe and sustainable future.”

Brian Lara with young cricket fans at the SAVE launch with the Heroes Foundation
South East Port-of-Spain Secondary School Principal, Winston Samuel, presents a HDP participant with her end of year award.

Winston Samuel, Principal of the South East Port-of-Spain Secondary School, expressed deep gratitude towards Heroes for their enduring 11-year partnership and thanked Scotiabank for ensuring that the programme continues.

“Our school has always had a strong Heroes team, starting in 2012, when we won the award for the Best Team that year,” he explained. “Since then, our students have been actively engaged in a variety of character-building activities, projects, workshops, and competitions organised by Heroes. These initiatives have played a crucial role in enhancing the quality of life at our school, raising awareness of pressing social and environmental issues, and fostering a culture of volunteerism.”

The collaborative efforts between the Scotiabank Foundation, the Heroes Foundation, and the South East Port-of-Spain Secondary School stand as a testament to the power of community partnerships in shaping tomorrow’s leaders.  Year 3 of the Heroes Development Programme will focus on career development, financial literacy, energy, climate, and environmental sustainability. 

Participants in the Heroes Development Programme at the South East Port-of-Spain Secondary School with their Certificates of Excellence.
South East Port of Spain Secondary School student Soriah with parents Junior and Lenor.
South East Port of Spain Secondary School student Adrian, with dad, Webster.
South East Port of Spain Secondary School student Sashel, with grandmother, Cheorline.