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DISCE AUT DISCEDE - "Learn or Leave"

Who We Are?

CCAA Canada

About Cornwall College Alumni Association of Canada

How does a group of individuals combine their love for children and the importance of education?


The idea emerged in the mid 1970s for Cornwall College alumni residing in the Toronto area to collectively provide support to the Alma Mater in Jamaica. This idea, which was spearheaded by Mr. Denham Jolly, received favorable acceptance among many of the alumni, and subsequently led to an informal meeting being organized and held on a cold and rainy fall afternoon at the King City, Toronto residence of Dr. Winston MacLean to discuss the idea further. Persons present at this meeting were the host (Dr Maclean), Mr. Denham Jolly, Mr. Kent Donaldson, Dr. Lloyd Mackenzie, Mr. Owen MacKenzie, Dr. Donald Holness, Mr. Edmund Gough, Mr. Charles Agate, Mr. Charles Reynolds, Mr. Karl Mullings, Mr. Knollis Johnson, and Mr. Neville Arthurs. At this meeting, it was generally agreed that the way ahead was for an association to be formed, and that the necessary steps should be taken to formalize the organization viz a viz drafting a constitution, selecting a slate of officers and to be a charitable organization with tax exempt status. These matters were subsequently accomplished in 1978 with the able advice and assistance of the then well established New York City Chapter of the Cornwall College Old Boys’ Association.



CCAA (Canada) started life in 1978 as Cornwall College Old Boys Association – Canada. This group came together with a mutual passion to undertake fund-raising efforts to address specific needs of the Alma Mater in Jamaica. Some of the first needs of the school which were addressed included the award of bursaries, donations of library material and the supply of equipment for science laboratory. Not only has the organization undergone a name change in recognition of the significant contributions and participation by women and individuals that did not attend the school, but the group’s focus has since expanded to include the well-being of children in Canada. The launch of the Breakfast Program revolutionized assistance to high school “in need” kids in Jamaica. For CDN$1 per day ($365 per year), Canadian patrons “adopt” a child of their own choosing or if they prefer, a child is selected for them. The patrons will provide breakfast for that one kid for one year. Additionally, the schools use funds sent to them for specific projects – from purchasing school equipment and supplies to establishing a Library, setting up solar energy, providing scholarships and fixing playing areas.

The findings of a research done by UNICEF and published May 2014 confirmed what we already knew - the estimated rate for average daily attendance based on the survey of students in the project schools was 78.9%, St. James, where Cornwall College is located is among the worst of the Regions in Jamaica in absenteeism. The level of daily absenteeism for schools in their survey was equivalent to up to 36% of the total enrolment. Although education was free in the public schools and school attendance was compulsory to the age of sixteen, costs for books, uniforms, lunch, and transport deterred some families from sending their children to school. The typical Jamaican household consist of: typically, one-parent homes (44%) – majority mother, most students live in a different community from school location (69%) and take public transportation to school (62%), More than half (55%) of persons living at home unemployed. Most employed have low-skilled, seasonal jobs.

The burdens of getting a good high school education is larger for vulnerable populations and developing countries. These populations have to manage lack of food at home with the added hardship of overcoming cost of transportation and the need to go out and attempt to earn a living to assist the family.

Most students reported that they were either sick (47%) or had money problems (30%) when they missed school in the survey or reference week. Health (sickness) accounted for almost twice as many days of absences as do economic difficulties (120 vis-à-vis 80 days), and together accounted for 83% of the days of absences reported.

The attendance problem has several dimensions. Firstly, students are simply absent for too long in order catch up with objectives of the learning program for the school year. This is despite availability of remediation activities. Secondly, the intermittent absences disrupt the cumulating process of learning and teaching. This situation increases the burden on remediation activities.

The ability to get these kids to school and provide facility to assist with their learning is instrumental to reducing the absenteeism and dropout rate and improving an individual’s prospect at improving quality of life. CCAA strives to bridge the gaps in learning inequities by providing funding, public education, and access to school that will empower impoverished communities to improve their child attendance to school in Jamaica and Canada.

Our Mission

The Cornwall College Alumni Association is one of the oldest continuously operating Jamaican High School alumni associations in Canada. Our group is focused primarily on raising funds for our high school in Montego Bay, Jamaica and sponsoring bursary for students in Canada.

Alumni Associations are the largest groups helping students in Jamaica and have enormous potential to impact learning inequity in Jamaica and Canada. Given their broad knowledge of education and learning, and frequent direct interaction with students and teachers, CCAA members are well positioned to advance the mission of CCAA. Therefore, CCAA is pleased to invest in the future of students by supporting High School students in Jamaica and Canada.

The mission of CCAA (Canada) is the promotion of early childhood education with a special focus on children of High school age in situations of racial, cultural or economic disadvantage. As such, our goal is to be responsive, mobilizing and supporting community efforts to provide a positive learning environment for young children by facilitating parent and teacher education and providing practical forms of assistance for the learning context.

The Cornwall College Alumni Association is committed to improving education in impoverished communities in Canada and Jamaica.


  • Giving Back — through supporting education and endowing bursaries to students facing financial hardship
  • Giving Health — through charitable donations to impoverished communities
  • Collaborative philanthropy — working with other charities for positive social change

Objectives of the Organization

Through a variety of charitable fundraising events CCAA will give back to communities where there is a need for support through: walkathons, Fish Fry, Charity Galas, and online donations. The money donated to CCAA will have a direct impact on improving the education of kids from impoverished communities. For example, in Canada CCAA will assist in community such as Emerging Global Leaders Program, Care and Share program and E mentorship program. In Jamaica, CCAA will provide educational equipment to high schools and ensure the donated equipment is maintained and serviced.

  • We promote good educational foundation by providing the opportunity for at-risk kids to attend school regularly, have the necessary tools for learning and is fed properly.

    • Activities in Support of Purpose

      The Association’s Education Committee will organize school feeding program - where at-risk students can get a good nutritional breakfast every morning. This will ensure students are not attending classes hungry or even missing school entirely because of the lack of a good meal. The Association will partner with business entities in Canada and Jamaica to determine nutritional menu and to fund the project

  • We promote improvement in education in impoverished areas of Jamaica, by providing necessary educational tools.

    • Activities in Support of Purpose

      Our Association will collaborate with other Alumni Associations to provide Solar energy at Cornwall College in Montego Bay Jamaica – we are currently working on a plan to meet Cornwall College’s electric power needs in the 21st century with solar energy. This project will cost in excess of $200,000.00 US dollars through completion and will remove the school from the more expensive and unreliable JPS grid. The school’s annual energy bill currently exceeds ($60,000.00) sixty thousand US dollars; the anticipated savings generated when the solar system is installed, will be used to maintain existing structures and erect new ones for the benefit of current students’ and the Montego bay Community alike

  • We advance education by providing bursaries to students in Canada and Jamaica

    • Activities in Support of Purpose

      Jamaica - The Bursar will be asked to submit names of students who qualify academically, but are financially challenged. Our selection panel will choose two students annually to support in Jamaica. The organization will request an annual update from the school.

      Canada – The general public will be asked to submit applications for bursary based on academic qualifications, and if they are students of parent from the Caribbean. The selection and monitoring of the awards is done by the Alliance of Jamaica Alumni Association

      We receive and maintain a fund or funds to apply all part or the principal and income therefrom, from time to time, to qualified donees as defined in subsection 149.1 (1) of the Income Tax Act (Canada): and to undertake activities ancillary and incidental to the attainment of the above mentioned charitable purposes

  • We promote improvement in education in impoverished areas of Jamaica, by providing necessary educational tools

    • Activities in Support of Purpose

      Our Association will provide awards to the top teachers in 6 main subject areas at Cornwall College in Jamaica. Each award will be based on year over year improvement by students in external exams.

    • Activities in Support of Purpose

      The Association President, or designate, will interact with the appropriate personnel of the CRA approved charitable organizations to assess their needs, then decide to what extent the association can offer financial support.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors consists of 10 nominated positions, including four Officers of the Executive.

Officers of the Executive include: President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

2016/2017 Board Members

  • President – Charles Gordon
  • Vice-President – Michael Hylton
  • Treasurer – Kingsley Beckford
  • Assistant Treasurer –
  • Secretary – Ambrose Haughton
  • Assistant Secretary –
  • Directors:
    • Steve Petgrave
    • Ramon Petgrave
    • Danny Pessoa
    • Donald Wright
    • Marcus Hazel
    • Keifer Morris
    • Terrence Hemmings

Who Should Join?

The idea emerged in the mid 1970s for Cornwall College alumni residing in the Toronto area to collectively provide support to the Alma Mater in Jamaica. This idea, which was spearheaded by Mr. Denham Jolly, received favorable acceptance among many of the alumni, and subsequently led to an informal meeting being organized and held on a cold and rainy fall afternoon at the King City, Toronto residence of Dr. Winston MacLean to discuss the idea further.

Membership is open to anyone who share our vision for a brighter and better future for our youths

Note: Donations of $20.00 or more is eligible for Tax Receipt

Family & Togetherness