bmobile connects the nation's youth to careers in arts and entertainment

Rhonda-Lee Yhapp, TSTT's Senior Manager of Marketing Communications (center) shares the frame with the students and teachers from the Guaico Government Secondary who were able to attend the Conference through the bmobile Foundation.
Port of Spain, Trinidad, May 7, 2018


"bmobile, as Trinidad and Tobago’s only local, full-service communications solutions provider, is without a doubt fully committed to the development and progress of this nation.  That’s why we continue to invest in technology, projects and programmes, like the Republic Bank Limited Decibel Arts and Entertainment Festival, that actively seek to harness the uncut potential of the country’s most valuable resource - its people. Decibel’s marriage of arts and entertainment with education and opportunity embodies bmobile’s tagline ‘Life is On’ and aligns seamlessly with the pillars of the bmobile Foundation." said Rhonda-Lee Yhapp, TSTT's Senior Manager, Marketing Communications.  Yhapp was speaking to over 700 secondary school students from all areas of Trinidad and Tobago who attended the annual Students Conference on Day 1 of the festival.   Other speakers were Festival Director Simon Baptiste and Tarren Guppy of Republic Bank Limited.  The celebrity artistes who spoke to the students this year were lead singer Kees Dieffenthaller and other members of Kes The Band, Canadian actor Avan Jogia of the Victorious and Ghost Wars TV shows, Dylan Sprayberry of the MTV series Teen Wolf, and locals, social media comedian Ro'dey, cosmetologist Aruna Maharaj and vloggers Roxy and Paris.

Yhapp explained that the annual festival is a platform that empowers young creatives to challenge society’s expectations of what a 'good' career is by providing unique opportunities for our youth to explore novel, non-traditional paths in arts and entertainment.  "The annual Decibel event is a catalyst that allows Trinidad and Tobago's creative geniuses to connect their dreams with reality by taking greater control in shaping their own narrative.  bmobile is in the business of using technology to connect people and this is just one of the many reasons why we are extremely proud to co-pilot this Decibel journey."  Besides being a major sponsor for the 5 years of the festival's existence, every year, as part of bmobile’s commitment to supporting youth development, innovation and ingenuity, the company also sponsors the attendance of a secondary school to experience the students conference, as well as a behind-the-scenes tour for NESC students to learn how they can apply their educational training to a project like bmobile's Zombie Island.

This year 21 students from the Guaico Government Secondary School were provided with transport and meals to attend the students' conference. Williams, was one of the school's teachers who accompanied the students.  She explained that the students' age groups ranged from form 2 to form 5 because they wanted to expose as many of their students as possible to the possibility of a career in arts and entertainment.  "The conference was very exciting and interactive and the students had a really great time.  They enjoyed listening to the career experiences of the celebrity artistes and I believe they learnt a lot.  We really appreciate being given this opportunity."  Ananda Derpwell, a 16-year old form 4 student, shared that she is doing a mixture of business and science subjects but is still undecided in a choice of a career.  However, Derpwell said the conference was inspirational for her because each celebrity noted that they started pursing their dream from when they were young and did not let anyone discourage them.  "When I do decide on a career, I must remain focused as this allowed them to be successful.  This was the main encouragement for me."  Mathias Phillip, a 13-year old student form 2 student, added that what stood out for him was the advice to surround himself with the right friends who will help him stay on the right course in life. 

Yhapp reminded the 700 plus bright youngsters that their attendance at the students' conference was a privilege since there were many others who couldn't attend.  "I am hopeful that your experience at this Conference will bring you closer to realizing your fullest potential and connecting your dream with your reality.  As the voice of your generation, you have a responsibility to not only live in the moment but capture and share these moments.  We are challenging you to pass on the knowledge, the unique insights and the key points that you learn today.  Whether it’s through a photo caption, video or voice note, you have the power to empower those who do not have the benefit of attending this conference” she stated.  In addition the winner of the bmobile talent challenge walked away with free unlimited calls, text messages and data for 6 months.