On November 30, 2023, St. John Bosco Vocational Training Centre hosted its very first Core Values Competition! Held in the school’s new Sister Noreen Gray Hospitality Centre, teachers, school leaders and guests gathered to watch as students represented the five Mercy Core Values through creative expression.
The Core Values are the moral ideals and standards which every Mercy school worldwide adheres to in all they do to “take Mercy into the world.” They can be summed up in the following phrases: “Compelled By Mercy; Educational Courage; Inspired By Faith; Principled Leadership; A Voice For Dignity and Respect.” Borne from a desire to make these “hallmarks of a Mercy Education” come to life for students, this event featured students from five clubs (i.e. the Rotaract Club, 4H, Entrepreneurship Club, Speech & Drama Club, and Cadets Units), to show how the Sisters of Mercy have exemplified each Core Value in their work throughout the years. They did so through the performance of original jingles and creation of visually appealing storyboards.
Students showed their lyrical prowess through engaging jingles which took the form of songs, poems, and speeches. A crowd-favourite was the dub poem performed by the Rotaract Club on “Educational Courage.” Using a traditional dub beat, these club members impressed upon attendees the courage it takes to act on one’s curiosity and explore the unknown in the hopes of creating a better world. Beyond this, each club dazzled judges with eye-catching storyboards which visually told the story of how their core value has shone through in the work of the Sisters of Mercy. These colourful displays were not only artistic, but also extremely informative.
These jingles and storyboards were judged by panel which included Ingrid Robinson (the Sisters of Mercy of Jamaica’s Mercy Coordinator), and Karen Gottshalk Fenton (the former Dean of Discipline of St. John Bosco), among others. After careful deliberation, the judges awarded the Rotaract Club with, not one but two first place trophies, for their jingle and storyboard. Thus, they came out on top as the winner of the overall competition! Not to be overlooked, each of the other clubs received certificates of participation to honour their tremendous efforts.
It is clear that, through this inaugural competition, students gained a deeper understanding of and relationship with these essential Core Values. The Mercy Coordinator was so inspired by the impact it seemed to have on St. John Bosco’s students and the potential impact it could have on other Mercy schools, that she has decided that the competition will be hosted across the entire Mercy group of schools in Jamaica next year! We can’t wait to see how this inter-school competition will enable the core values to resonate with Mercy students in new and exciting ways!