Shaquelle Parish is turning his natural love for drawing into a skill that he hopes will turn heads globally. A student of the Alpha Boys’ School the 18 year-old is a member of the school’s screen printing skills training programme. “What I love about drawing is that it is like creating my mind unto a piece of paper with pencil,” said the reserved youngster. Parish is one of 19 boys currently enrolled in the programme which received a boost from the Digicel Foundation in 2014. The Foundation invested in renovating the screen printing facilities, providing a screen printing machine and related equipment to properly establish Alpha Wear. Alpha Wear is an innovative clothing line that is influenced by the Institute’s rich musical history. “I found out Alpha was offering something I am very interested in, drawing and printing designs so I thought it would be cool to join the programme,” said Parish. The screen printing programme has impacted him in a number of ways, explains Parish, teaching him the necessary skills needed for the professional printing world. “Since being here I’ve learnt to be more efficient, I’ve gotten use to the materials and the responsibilities,” he said. “I am interested in learning more. I like to see when a task is done properly.” The youngster’s screen printing instructor Tracy Mamoun says Parish is a leader in the class who is creative, respectful and doing well academically. “The programme has seen a number of persons interested in drawing enjoying designing and expressing themselves,” she said. “They are also enabled to see the structure behind screen printing, to take the step back and plan.” For Mamoun the programme provides these youngsters with the skills needed to seek employment in the business and to create employment by starting companies of their own. “I like to see when the boys form their own groups in class. In the groups you will have one who is a great artist, another who is more practical and another who is more academically inclined – I would love to see them come together and start their own business,” she said. Being his own boss is exactly what Parish has in mind. “I want to leave here and get a job, work my way up to my own company and do all of what Alpha is doing but with my name and designs. I want to be a global artist,” he added. With the recent transition of the school from a residential programme to an education and skills training institution, the screen printing programme trains students and allows Alpha to also generate income to offset operational expenses.