group of dart minds inspired interns 2017 at camana bay

Minds Inspired: enriching the future

Five Minds Inspired scholars spent two weeks in Oxford, England, in July to attend a summer school held at the prestigious university. Living and studying on campus, the high school students explored a subject of their choice, getting hands-on experience and potentially discovering a future career path.

“We organise a trip like this every year as part of our Minds Inspired scholarship enrichment programme,” says Glenda McTaggart, Dart’s Educations Programmes Manager. “It stretches the high school students: allows them to try new things, think differently, and gives them a taste of a different culture.”

In previous years, scholars have visited Dart NeuroScience in California, CERN in Switzerland and Super Camps at Brown and Stanford universities.

When Dart’s Minds Inspired programme launched in 2012, its purpose was simple: to select and support two successful Grade 9 Caymanian students in their pursuit of excellence in maths and science for the duration of their high school career.

The High School scholarship was swiftly followed in 2013 with the introduction of the William A. Dart Memorial Scholarship which is awarded annually for up to four years to a student pursuing a bachelor’s degree from an accredited overseas institution and renews annually subject to academic performance.

Fast-forward five years and Minds Inspired is developing Cayman’s top talent well beyond the classroom.

minds inspired scholarsip recipients on camana bay steps

Adding value

Today, Minds Inspired is a series of educational and community initiatives designed to inspire Cayman’s youngest and brightest minds to excel. The programme’s focus on science, technology, engineering and maths, commonly known as STEM, is rooted in the Dart family’s belief that these subjects are fundamental building blocks for academic and career success and demonstrates their commitment to investing in Cayman’s future leaders and innovators.

Dart’s support reaches far beyond tuition fees. What really sets Minds Inspired apart is the desire to broaden the young minds it reaches through enrichment programmes and work experience.

Each summer, Dart welcomes around 30 summer students to its ranks, providing thoughtful individualised plans for each candidate that address real business needs and help them gain knowledge in their chosen area of study.

Glenda is passionate about adding value to these work placements. “Beyond on-the-job work experience, we create networking opportunities, provide mentoring, and schedule professional development workshops and lunch-and-learns to help broaden our students’ perspectives and world views.”

Testifying to the programme’s success, 20 of Dart’s work experience students from the past five years have become full-time employees across eight different fields.

dart minds inspired scholarsip recipients having a group chat

Expanding horizons

Julian Solomon, recipient of the William A. Dart Scholarship in 2013, has recently completed a graduate diploma in Law and starts an MSc in Real Estate Investment at City University London in September. During previous summer holidays, he has embraced law-related work experience and led an HR research project, presenting his findings to Dart’s leadership team. This year, he will do a six-week rotation with Dart Real Estate to experience projects at various stages of development.

As part of his scholarship, Julian was also one of the participants at the global One Young World Summit in 2013. One Young World gathers the brightest young leaders from around the world, empowering them to make lasting connections to create positive change.

“It was absolutely inspiring and opened my eyes to the world of change and the amazing impact that young people can make. Being a Minds Inspired scholar is a privilege and an honour,” says Julian.

Other enrichment activities have included dining with Richard Branson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and NASA astronauts, Captains Mark and Scott Kelly, and a number of STEM challenges, both local and international.

These opportunities designed by Glenda and her team have a genuinely life-changing effect for the students and help inspire the next generation of Caymanian leaders.

“One of the best ways to give back and invest in Cayman’s future is to help transform today’s talent into tomorrow’s leaders and at Dart it’s integral to how we do business,” Glenda says.

"It’s good for Cayman’s young people, it’s good for Dart’s business and it’s good for the future of the Cayman Islands.”

Learn more about Dart’s educational programmes and work experience opportunities at www.mindsinspired.ky

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