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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (USA) AMBASSADOR VISITS USC
On August 2, 2016, His Excellency, Ambassador John Estrada, also a son of the soil, paid an official visit to the University of the Southern Caribbean.
This visit was arranged earlier by the Embassy’s acting Public Relations Officer, Ms. Andrea Corey and Pastor Lester Parkinson, Director of Enrollment & Recruitment, USC. The visit included a campus tour, presentation to an assembled group, and discussion with University officials to establish a broad collaboration between the University and the United States.
US Ambassador Estrada met with USC administration, Dr. Kern Tobias, President Caribbean Union Conference and Pas. Leslie Moses, President of South Caribbean Conference.
Areas of partnership included capacity strengthening, Pell grant opportunities, study abroad opportunities at USC for US citizens and the Strong Innovation 100K program, as well as a reach-out through USAID (United States Agency for International Development) to the other Caribbean territories. The University invited the Ambassador to return for an address to the university family and proposed a collaboration between the University and the Embassy to strengthen at-risk communities in Trinidad. The intent is for the Ambassador to be able to reach out and touch home-town communities and to give back to youth development in Trinidad through national training programs and university-led initiatives through alumni research.
Ambassador Estrada, of US Marine vintage, shared his heritage of Venezuela and Trinidad parentage, his youthful days in Laventille, his quest to find his father after 40 years and his own desire to give back to the communities from whence he came.
Also present were the chairman of the Board, Dr. Kern Tobias, Pastor Leslie Moses, President of the South Caribbean Conference in Trinidad, and both alumni and community representation. The University has formed a core working team and an Advisory to further formalize the collaboration and to implement several of the consensus decisions. A brief photo opportunity followed.
This visit represented an opportunity to share, exchange and collaborate and set a platform for a broad understanding and partnership going forward, between the Seventh-day Adventist organizations in Trinidad and the US Embassy.