An Active Alumnus

Andrew Farkas, renowned real estate investor and CEO of Island Capital Group, credits his alma mater Harvard with giving him the opportunity to discover his passions and to develop the skills needed to run his highly successful business. As a graduate of the Harvard University Class of 1982, Farkas has spent the years since his graduation remaining actively involved in the university as a donor and Chairman of The Hasty Pudding Club.

The Hasty Pudding Club is one of the oldest social clubs at Harvard University and boasts prominent alumni such as John Quincy Adams, John F. Kennedy, and Paris Barclay. During his time at Harvard, Andrew Farkas was an active member of the club and even served as the president for two years.  Now, he is a member of the graduate board, a form of advisory board that also works as an alumni network for the Hasty Pudding Club.

Recently, Farkas donated a significant sum of money to help convert and restore the old Hasty Pudding Theatricals home into a state of the art theatre. Now, the building where the theatre is housed is known as Farkas Hall in honor of Farkas’ father, another Harvard alumnus.

Farkas is involved with his alma mater far beyond donations, however. In 2012 he helped to restructure the three distinct branches of Hasty Pudding (The Hasty Pudding Club, Hasty Pudding Theatricals, and the Krokodiloes) into one entity: The Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770. In merging these three branches, Farkas hoped to unite the clubs to give students more opportunities to meet new people that share the values of the core organization. Andrew Farkas has also served as the emcee and host of the Order of the Golden Sphinx Gala, the annual event hosted by the Hasty Pudding Club, for multiple years. The event is a fun time for current students and alumni to interact and honor a special guest each year.

Andrew Farkas embodies the ideals of continued service and involvement when it comes to his alma mater Harvard and his beloved Hasty Pudding Club.

Promoting Education in the Cayman Islands

While thousands of tourists arrive on the Cayman Islands each year, only a fraction of that number (just over 55,000) actually reside on these islands and are lucky enough to call the Cayman Islands “home.” According to a 2010 census, only half of the small resident population is of Caymanian descent.

Since 2010, Ken Dart, owner of Dart Cayman, has advocated for education in the Cayman Islands and created scholarship opportunities for Cayman Islands scholars through the Minds Inspired Scholarship Programme.

Minds Inspired Scholarship
The Minds Inspired Scholarship Programme is a scholarship and mentorship program supported by Dart Enterprises Ltd., a holding company owned by Ken Dart. Since 2012, Minds Inspired has offered scholarships at the high school level and later expanded to the university level as well. The organization has also developed a work experience program for students during the summer.

These scholarships are solely offered to Caymanian students, and in the case of the university scholarship, the students must be interested in studying an area that can benefit and enhance the future of the Cayman Islands.

Minds Inspired Outreach
Minds Inspired does much more for education advancement than just scholarships. The program hosts events and competitions for Caymanian students each year in order to foster academic excellence. For example, over thirty students from six Grand Cayman high schools participated in the 2015 Minds Inspired Mathematics Challenge.

This competition encouraged Caymanian schools to recognize some of their best mathematically-minded students and offered these students an outlet to showcase and develop their skills in STEM related fields.  Ken Dart firmly believes that math and science education are key components to scholarly and career successes, so events like the Minds Inspired Mathematics Challenge are important to the Dart Enterprises philosophy.

Company Involvement
Dart Enterprises engages in hands-on involvement with the student recipients of their scholarships as well. Annually, scholars and senior leadership members of Dart Enterprises interact at a luncheon. This event is designed to teach students the importance of networking, allow students to receive advice on education and career paths, and develop relationships between Dart Enterprises leaders and scholars. Many scholars go on to work for the company during summers and after graduation in order to continue giving back to the Cayman Island community.

With organizations like Ken Dart’s Dart Enterprises working to enhance education and provide opportunities for students in the Cayman Islands, the economy and workforce in the Cayman Islands will surely flourish in the upcoming years.

How to Seek Employment in Special Education

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Are you interested in becoming a special education teacher? If so, you should truly be committed to helping these students achieve everything they can. It requires great dedication and compassion to become a special education teacher – or to choose a career in any form of education. There are certain training courses and degrees that you will need in order to become a special education teacher. For those that feel this is their calling, look over these tips for seeking employment in special education.

What is a Special Education Teacher?

Firstly, let us define what a special education teacher is. Basically, a special education teacher is responsible for the instruction of students with various special needs. This can include children with learning disabilities, physical handicaps, and other disabilities that prevent them from being taught in the same environment as the rest of the student body.

A special education teacher needs to be able to work with these disabilities to teach their students the basic subjects and skills they will require to move on to their next form of education or to graduate high school. While special education teachers can be employed in various facilities, they are generally employed at public schools.

Obtain a Degree in Special Education

dreamstime_xl_20806332It is requirement in every state that a special education teacher has the correct license. Typically, this requires a bachelor’s degree with a major in special education; however, there are several states that allow various other types of programs and licenses. Furthermore, there are some states that require a master’s degree. Before embarking on the path towards earning your special education degree, find out what the requirements are in your state or the states that will consider moving to in order to seek employment when the time comes.

While earning your degree you will probably take coursework to learn about child assessment, communication techniques, and other skills that will help you with the education of students with special needs.

Obtain a License for Special Education

In addition to your degree you may also need a certificate or license that has been issued by the state you live in order to seek employment as a special education teacher in a public school. Depending on where you reside, you may be issued a license that allows you to teach all children with disabilities or you may be issued a license that specifies a specific disability. As with your degree, find out what the requirements are in your state or the states you want to work in.

Specializing Your Education

14223576812If you wish, you can specialize in a specific area of special education. You have the option to specialize in the education of children with moderate disabilities, such as autism or various learning disabilities. You could also specialize in the education of children with moderate to severe disabilities, including brain injury, emotional trauma, and severe autism. Other specializations include teaching deaf students, students with visual impairments, physical and health impairments, and the specialization in early childhood special education.

After you have obtained your necessary degree, license or certification, and decided if you want to specialize in a specific area of special education, it is time to begin applying for work. Do not get discouraged if you do not find work right away. Depending on the region you live, there may not be many positions in special education. Be prepared to seek work in nearby cities and then slowly expand your search outwards if you continue to have difficulty finding work.

In the schools that are nearby but currently not hiring you should ask if they will keep your resume on file in the event a position does open up. Given time and commitment, you should eventually be able to realize your dream of becoming a special education teacher. For those that want additional information on special education or education in general, send us a message or leave a comment below.