Under the Limit! How Young Persons can Serve at AFETT

Yolande Agard-Simmons, BA (Hons), MBA


How can I become a member of an Association such as AFETT … I am twenty-one years old, just started my first job and want to grow as a young professional. I also see a lot of articles and media coverage about AFETT and I think that my professional goals align perfectly with what AFETT does. How can I serve even though I do not quite meet the age requirement?


Eager and Willing

Dear Eager and Willing,

“According to Psychology Today, A Study showed that teens grow intellectually, interpersonally, and emotionally from supportive mentors. For example, most reported they were better planners, organizers, and problem-solvers. And they grew in self-confidence and self-awareness.’ This is what is at the heart of us being here … to provide a forum for these young ladies who have already graduated from these programmes to meet with their mentors and reconnect and rebuild sustainable and beneficial relationships.” Those were my opening words on Saturday 8th December, 2018, when the Board of Directors of AFETT hosted an evening intended to look to our past, enjoy our present and celebrate our future; and launched our Youth Arm. So your question and desire to become a member of AFETT is almost kismet.

You may not be aware but AFETT’s Programmes for young women has traditionally taken the form of the REACH Mentorship Programme, which started in 2013 and is generally administered over a four week period. This Programme is aimed at creating meaningful change in young girls between the ages of 15 and 17 by enhancing recognition of their self-worth and developing the key skills required for them to create a better and fuller life for themselves. Since 2016, this Programme has received the active collaboration and financial support of the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts.

Not just that, we also have our Six Steps to Success Programme, which has been around since 2006. It is a series of professional development seminars for young professionals like you (18 – 25 years old) who are about to enter or are currently in the workplace. And of course, still further, our Women Development Fund, through which we annually offer bursaries to two deserving female students studying at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine.

Oprah Winfrey said that “a mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” As a Board, that is the premise on which we felt it important to allow the mentorship of our young girls to extend beyond the duration of our Programmes. Thus, we hosted our inaugural ANNUAL Cocktail Reception where we will further engaged these young ladies in an informal setting, along with their parents and guardians.

As part of our ongoing relationship, we will provide them with motivation to continue along a positive path and to further share the stories of those who have successfully traversed the path of adolescence into adulthood.

It is also for this reason that as a Board we launched the Association’s YOUTH ARM: A mechanism to continue to provide realistic support to these young ladies. The establishment of the Youth Arm comes on the heels of the embryonic work put in by former Director of Membership, Ms. Caron Greaves and the proactive undertakings of our current effervescent Director of Membership, Ms. Cheryl Sue Wing.

AFETT newly inducted Youth Arm members flanked by Yolande Agard-Simmons, President, AFETT (right) and Cheryl Sue Wing, Membership Director, AFETT (left)

Youth Arm Member Akilah Gomez, receives her Certificate of Membership from the Honourable Shamfa Cudjoe, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, while Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts and Yolande Agard-Simmons, President, AFETT look on.


· Applicants MUST be a citizen or permanent resident in Trinidad and Tobago

· Applicants MUST be between the ages of eighteen (18) and twenty-five (25) years old

· Applicants MUST meet at least one of the following criteria:

(1) University Degree or Associate Degree, i.e. BA, B Sc, MBA, M Sc, LLB

(2) Specialist Qualification, i.e. ACCA

(3) A Graduate of AFETT’s REACH Mentorship Programme

(4) A Graduate of AFETT’s Six Steps to Success Programme

(5) Recommended by an financial member of AFETT

The Membership Application Process for the YOUTH ARM commences with the submission of the completed online application form.


If the young person meets the Association's membership criteria, you will be contacted by our Secretariat to inform you of this and receive an invoice for the payment of $250TT, which is payable in full. This represents an annual membership fee of $200TT and a non-refundable processing fee of $50TT.

Upon confirmation of your membership, the annual membership fee of $200 TT is payable on January 1st of each year.

There is usually a nominal fee for attending the regular monthly meetings. The cost of attending special seminars and workshops hosted by AFETT will vary. There is however a moratorium on the fees to attend these Meetings, Seminars and Workshops for Youth Arm Members for 2019 and 2020.

As myself a beneficiary of multiple layers of mentorship during the early stages of my career, we will be happy to welcome you as a member of our Youth Arm for all of the reasons outlined above. Also, you should consider signing up to be part of the next instalment of our Six Steps to Success Programme later this year. I am confident that you would not only thoroughly enjoy and benefit from it, but it would also give you a greater appreciation for what being a member of AFETT entails. Visit our website and sign up today.

Remember that “each stage is a challenge, each challenge is a lesson, each lesson is an opportunity, each opportunity is a blessing.” Words of Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts that ring true for all aspects of our life.

And I must say that this premise is in tandem with the mandate of the Association which is ‘making women winners’ for with the Launch of our Youth Arm, we are making an influence, effecting a change, step by step by step.

AFETT is a not-for-profit organization formed in 2002 with the goal of bringing together professional women and engaging in networking opportunities, professional training and business ideas. ASK AFETT is a column meant to address issues and concerns of professionals seeking advice to assist in progressing in their careers. Today's response was written by Yolande Agard-Simmons, President of AFETT. Learn more about AFETT at www.afett.com, search for AFETT Events on Facebook, follow us @AFETTEXECS on Twitter or contact us at 343-2160. Email us your career-related questions at admin.afett@gmail.com.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors, meant strictly as advice and guidance, based upon their experience and expertise. In no way are they meant to be legally binding upon AFETT and or its members, servants nor agents.

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