Jamaican Shanna Kaye Wright Vaughn, youth banking officer at JN Bank, has started the year on a high note. She is the only person from the Caribbean to be selected as Youth Lead Ambassador, as part of the YouthPower2: Learning and Evaluation Youth Lead Ambassador Network’s new cohort.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) funded programme, which is a six-month professional development and leadership initiative for young persons with a proven track record of influencing young people to make a positive impact in their community, has selected 22 persons from more than 3,000 applications received from around the world.
The project was implemented by Making Cents International and its partners in 2018, and Mrs Wright Vaughn was selected on December 7.
“I am elated to be one of the persons selected out of such a large group of brilliant minds”, said Mrs Wright Vaughn. “I will use this opportunity to continue to provide service and impactful information to young people”.
“Since the COVID pandemic, I realised that there was a lot of readily available content that I do not believe we, young people, are taking advantage of. As a result, I started to collate online resources, courses, content, articles and send them out to persons on social media and via email,” Mrs Wright Vaughn explained.
She added that since then, persons would reach out to her for career and professional development information and she would advise them.
A Certified Digital Marketing Professional, Mrs Wright Vaughn said that her goal is to connect young people to a wealth of resources, and the Youth Lead programme aligns with what she started since the pandemic. She noted that the programme has also given her a platform to reach more persons around the world.
Mrs Wright Vaughn is no newcomer to youth leadership and engagement, as she served her schoolmates as a Guild of Student representative while attending The University of the West Indies, Mona, (UWI), and resided at the Aston Preston Hall.
In August 2020, she was appointed for a second consecutive year, by the Minister of the State in the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Information, as the JN Bank representative to serve on the National Youth Month Advisory Committee.
Since then, she was invited by new colleagues from Sierra Leone, West Africa, to be a part of a young women mentorship programme. She is also a member of the JN Toastmasters Club and the UWI Alumni Association (Jamaica Chapter).
Mrs Wright Vaughn is in charge of the JN Wise Aspiring Youth (JN WAY) and JN School Savers’ Programmes, the JN Bank’s youth banking initiatives, which are geared to promote financial literacy and empower young people.
Through the JN WAY Programme, she has coached and mentored more than 200 students at the tertiary level.
“People cannot maximise their full potential when they do not know what is available to them; and I believe everyone should be able to access information and resources to assist them to build their best selves,” she affirmed.