Alpha Institute Partners with Lonely Whale and Ghetto Youths Foundation in a New Scholarship Initiative

Music, education, youth, environment…This partnership has so much going for it!

I am excited at this news and wish Andrew Taylor every success. Here is the press release from the Alpha Institute – an institution with a tremendous history.

I hope they will keep us updated on this lovely initiative. (By the way, if you are doing early Christmas shopping and are looking for some unique and rather cool gifts for a good cause, look no further than the Alpha shop!) 

Boys of the Alpha Institute in Kingston (formerly Alpha Boys School). It’s a very special place. (Photo: Alpha Institute)

Global Leaders in Music and Ocean Health Create Unique Learning Experience For Youth in Jamaica

The Alpha Institute, a vocational school for at risk youth, in Kingston, Jamaica is pleased to announce a partnership with Lonely Whale, a global leader in ocean protection, and Ghetto Youths Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by  Stephen, Damian, and Julian Marley to provide aid and resources, opportunity and hope to communities in need across the globe.

These three mission-driven institutions have partnered to create a ground-breaking new programme in Jamaica in which Ghetto Youths Foundation will sponsor a music scholarship and Lonely Whale student internship at Alpha. All three partners are proud to announce the 2019-2020 Lonely Whale Scholarship funded by the Ghetto Youths Foundation has been awarded to 4th-year saxophone player, Andrew Taylor. In addition to tuition for vocational and academic training, social services, nutrition and transportation assistance as well as work experience and counselling, the scholarship creates an ‘Ocean Heroes’ internship in which Andrew will use his music skills and training to create public service announcements for radio about ocean health.

The Alpha Institute, formerly Alpha Boys School, is a Sisters of Mercy sponsored institution with 140 years of service to youth in Jamaica who have benefited from trade and academic training as well as residential services. Alpha is best known for its music training which has helped launch the careers of jazz innovators, ska pioneers and reggae icons. Since becoming a day programme in 2014, Alpha added music technology training and a 24 streaming radio station so that students may gain a working understanding of the music, radio and recording industry.

Ghetto Youths Foundation logo.

The Executive Director of the Alpha Institute, Sister Susan Frazer, said the partnership with Ghetto Youths Foundation and Lonely Whale sets a precedent for the next 100 years. “The environment is a critical concern of the Sisters of Mercy,” explained Sister Susan. “I am so proud that we will be able to pass along these values to Andrew, our students, the Alpha community and all of Jamaica with the support of Lonely Whale and Ghetto Youths Foundation. We are also excited for our students and our music programme which will be using its performance and music technology training in new and meaningful ways.”

The partnership was sparked by Kertia Marley, a longtime advocate for sustainable development and a special project collaborator with Lonely Whale, who saw a unique opportunity when she visited Alpha while promoting Strawless Oceans in Jamaica.

“I visited Alpha with colleagues from Los Angeles and we were blown away by the progress in the music department at Alpha,” Kertia recalls. “Alpha and its students are not sitting back waiting for things to happen. They have the ability and the tools right on campus. The students can be the leaders we expect them to be. By engaging youth at Alpha in the production and presentation of the messages, we want to be more effective in not only communicating with the younger generation but also inspiring youth civic engagement. I am so excited to see this partnership take place.”

Lonely Whale.

Lonely Whale is a US -based incubator for courageous ideas that drive impactful change on behalf of our ocean where most single-use plastics are disposed, harming the ecosystem, affecting tourism and economic development.

Dune Ives, executive director of Lonely Whale, said the combination of music and the scholarship’s youth focus support the mission of the Ocean Heroes Network: “Ocean Heroes was founded on the idea that youth are needed to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14.1 to ‘prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution’ by 2025.”

Founded by three of Bob Marley’s sons – Stephen, Damian, and Julian Marley — The Ghetto Youths Foundation supports humanitarian projects worldwide, with a significant focus on directly helping those in need in Jamaica. The new partnership supports the mission of the foundation to address the fundamental needs of young people through access to education, wellness, and mentoring.

“Music carries the universal power to inspire and inform, to spark imagination and innovation,” said Eva Silverstein, Executive Director. “Ghetto Youths Foundation is proud to support this scholarship, and we look forward to Andrews’s impactful work for Jamaica’s ocean health.”

The scholarship starts with Andrew documenting his personal use of single-use plastics during the month of September. The data collected will then become the basis for messages about plastic alternatives created with support from Lonely Whale and Alpha staff. Andrew will share his progress on the Alpha website and social media. At the end of every term he will produce two public service announcements for Alpha Boys School Radio and other radio stations in Jamaica and others interested in ocean health. Visit to track the progress!

Ishack Wilmot - photo of Chrissana Wilmot
A surfer off the coast of Jamaica. (Photo: Ishack Wilmot)

Alpha Institute contact: Joshua Chamberlain, 876-578-1181,

Lonely Whale    IG, FB and Twitter @lonelywhale

Ghetto Youths Foundation  IG @ghettoyouthsfoundation

Alpha Institute  IG + Twitter @alphaboysschool  FB

5 thoughts on “Alpha Institute Partners with Lonely Whale and Ghetto Youths Foundation in a New Scholarship Initiative

  1. Hello Emma:

    As I read through this your post this morning, I thought that in the Volumes – FIPA should do a bit of promoting of other organizations that are helping children and youth, since we are certainly not in this venture alone!

    To this end, I wrote Wyvolyn Gager about Camp Inspire this morning. But I also know that she may have other options for Camp Inspire, which is really a small undertaking – taking place every summer only.

    I know that Wyvolyn operates with a sound set of ethics – I hesitate getting other people involved when I do not know them – because I have learned that good intentions are not always appreciated. Also, I would like to deal with underfunded enterprises rather than those already receiving aid.

    I am thinking that one such organization could be highlighted briefly in the Introduction to Building Strong Children and a few organizations featured in Volumes 3 and 4, which address social issues.

    Please let me know what you think.

    Warm regards: Angela

    On Fri, Sep 27, 2019 at 12:26 AM Petchary’s Blog wrote:

    > petchary posted: “Music, education, youth, environment…This partnership > has so much going for it! I am excited at this news and wish Andrew Taylor > every success. Here is the press release from the Alpha Institute – an > institution with a tremendous history. I hope they ” >


    1. Hi Angela: Yes, I agree totally! I think this might be a good idea – I don’t know Camp Inspire but this shows that there are a number of efforts being quietly made (and underfunded) for children. We can discuss further! Best, Emma


  2. Very nice! I’m glad that Jamaica is not sitting on its laurels waiting to follow, but is leading the way for conservation efforts, more so than some first-world countries. I applaud the no-plastic bag efforts. Some of these changes are not easy; they take effort. But together and creatively, we can all play our part in improving and protecting our environment.


    1. Thank you for your comments, Michele! Well, we don’t have many “laurels” to sit on, but we’re trying to do what we can. In some areas we are not impressive, but the plastic bag (and straw) ban was a great step forward and you are right – it’s never easy to make these changes. However, it’s amazing how people have actually reduced the plastic in their lives, without much fuss! So much MORE to do be done but together – it’s possible.


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