The Art of Leadership

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Organisation Established

JAYECAN started in 2013 with only 6 members in Abrahim’s dorm room at the University of the West Indies Mona campus. The organisation has since then grown into a national body with volunteers from all over the country, working towards peace building, leadership development and women and youth empowerment.

  • The first project was Citizens today, Heroes Tomorrow – a project dedicated to the promoting and safeguarding the legacy of Jamaican National Heroes.
  • The first Executive Comprised of: Abrahim Simmonds, Alex Sterling, Ackera Gowie, Andwayne Davis and Shamar Bruce.

First General Assembly and New Partnerships

The first General Assembly was held in 2015. JAYECAN has forged many partnerships with local, regional and international bodies. The Jamaica Tertiary Education Commission (JTEC) under the leadership of Mrs. Maxine Henry-Wilson, was the first to establish ties with JAYECAN. A signed memorandum of understanding (MOU), established JTEC as the temporary home of JAYECAN in 2015. Additionally, the Governor-General of Jamaica, His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen, endorsed JAYECAN as a partner of the ‘I Believe Initiative’ in 2016.

  • First Special Advisors identified: Joseph Roach, Adiel Thomas, Royanne DeSilva and Cecelia Samuels. These advisors provided guidance to the Directors of each department.
  • Alex Sterling discusses JAYECAN on the morning talk show, Smile Jamaica.
  • Michelle Thomas represented JAYECAN at the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations meeting in Azerbaijan.
  • Jamaica Social Action Leader Program (JSALP) created to provide community youth leaders with requisite skills. Fitzroy Thompson became the first registrar.
  • ArtReach launched at the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre.



Accelerated Growth

2016 was a year of growth! JAYECAN membership almost tripled and more projects had been introduced across the island. More partners were unboarded and the organisation rose to regional and international prestige.

  • JAYECAN Arts & Culture Symposium was held as part of National Youth Month Celebrations in Jamaica.
  • Abrahim Simmonds represents JAYECAN at the 5th UNESCO MILID Conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • The First Youth Empowerment Awards held at the Eden Gardens Resort and Spa. Fae Ellington was selected as the honouree. Minister Floyd Green was in attendance.
  • Michelle Thomas awarded the Commonwealth Youth and Youth Workers Awards for her contributions through JAYECAN.
  • Abrahim Simmonds awarded the Queen’s Young Leader Award by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Alex Sterling became Executive Director of JAYECAN. He was supported by Kadeem Thompson and Keenan Falconer as Junior Executive Directors.
  • His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen endorses JAYECAN as a partner of the I Believe Initiative.
2017 – Present

Reorganising our Efforts

With growth comes great responsibility! Since 2017 JAYECAN has charted a new plan that strengthens its focus on programmes and interventions that use arts and culture as a driving force for change.

  • JAYECAN coordinated the UNESCO Global Youth Agenda Forum on Media and Information Literacy. Over 300 youth delegates from across the world were in attendance at the University of the West Indies.
  • Alex and Abrahim nominated for the Prime Minister’s Youth Award; for their contributions through JAYECAN.
  • 2nd Youth Empowerment Awards held at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. Desmond Dennis was the producer.
    JAYECAN period of restructuring.
  • Brittany Brown appointed as JAYECAN’s Executive Director.