SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Owner of Divico Group of Companies Sunny Khatnani gives back to his educational roots at Milton Peters College (MPC) by funding air-conditioning for one classroom. Khatnani is the first MPC alumnus and entrepreneur to ‘adopt’ a classroom at the largest public school of Sint Maarten.
MPC school board SVOBE, a teachers’ and students’ delegation of MPC and auditing firm Baker Tilly kicked off project ‘Keep a cool head’ on September 27th, aiming to obtain funding for solar powered air-conditioning in 22 classrooms at MPC that still lack climate control.
On behalf of Divico Group of Companies, Sunny Khatnani donated project ‘Keep a cool head’ USD 5.000, the amount required to adopt a classroom. The ‘Divico classroom’ will be provided with air-conditioning and Khatnani’s resume will be hung on the classroom wall to inspire students. By sponsoring project Keep a cool head, Khatnani hopes to contribute to a better learning environment and stimulate young Sint-Maarteners’ ambitions. ‘They are the future of our Island and education is key in building back better’, said Khatnani.
Khatnani decided to return to his birth soil in 1995 after attending Boston University and went on to become a leading entrepreneur in St. Maarten. After working in sales at Mirage Juwelers and BBG Communications, Khatnani founded his wholesale business Divico in 2006. Khatnani states that studying abroad has been beneficial to him, but he also recognizes that in many cases it leads to ‘brain drain’; young potentials that leave the island for their studies, often do not return after obtaining a degree.
The Keep a cool head project team hopes that Khatnani will be an example to today’s MPC students. ‘Khatnani shows that the island’s potential can go a long way. MPC is a school that raised Governors, entrepreneurs and teachers. Examples like these are vital to keep students motivated’, said Femke Neunzig, teacher and member of the Keep a cool head project team.
The MPC/SVOBE/Baker Tilly Keep a cool head project team is still looking for more MPC alumni to adopt MPC classrooms that still lack climate control. In September, a Facebook video by MPC teacher Femke Neunzig went viral, stating that the temperature in MPC classrooms was hindering education. Since then, a number of MPC alumni and other sympathizers have stepped up to contribute to a cooler learning environment at MPC.