This nonprofit transforms lives of young people in the Caribbean

Geneive Brown Metzger.
Geneive Brown Metzger.
Courtesy Geneive Brown Metzger

Geneive Brown Metzger grew up in Kingston, Jamaica, where she lived with her parents. Her mom was from Red Hills in St. Andrew, and her dad was from Duncans, in Trelawny.

Her fondest memories are of spending time with family in the country. “I try to keep those memories alive by taking the opportunity whenever possible to return there. It helps me keep things real,” Metzger said.

While living in Kingston, Metzger’s dad worked in Ocho Rios, on the north coast of the country. She remembers going there with her dad on some weekends, and being mesmerized by the shipping vessels.

“I never wanted to go to sea myself, but the whole thing came back to me as I contemplated how important the Caribbean must be to shipping, especially to tourism. I later learned that the Caribbean was critical to the entire shipping sector, cargo included,” she added.

She had just ended a diplomatic post serving as the Jamaican Consul General in New York, when she took some time off to think through the next chapter of her life.

She had just read the book, “Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate” by Rose George. It was after this that she decided to start the American Caribbean Maritime Foundation (ACMF). The organization’s mission is to alleviate poverty and transform lives through maritime education.

Metzger has been the recipient of acts of kindness at numerous times in her life, and that’s what reminds her that she is obligated to do the same for others, while also encouraging her when life happens. This mindset has carried over in her work at ACMF, and it remains integral.

“The foundation is my life … it is more than a full time job; but honestly, the satisfaction of seeing young people succeed and knowing they have a chance at making a good life for themselves and their families is worth it,” she continued.

According to Metzger, “the scholarships and grants provided by the foundation are our acts of kindness, but it is also our responsibility.” She adds that without the board of directors at the organization, the work of ACMF wouldn’t be possible.

“Some work in the sector and others are educators. All are hugely committed to the mission and give not only their talent but their treasure. I am honored to be working with them. They have

taught me a lot about the industry and they keep our operations at a high level of governance.”

Furthermore, Metzger believes establishing an institution with this specific mission as a success in itself, and that it is an ongoing practice.

“We are never done, not as long as the maritime sector is a leading global industry and important to the development of the Caribbean. We are not only providing opportunities for young people, but we are helping to grow tomorrow’s leaders in the sector,” she continued.

Maintaining the success of ACMF is not easy, particularly when it comes to raising money. According to Metzger, with so many worthy causes, donors know that supporting ACMF supports their bottom line.

“At the end of the day, I believe that our donors understand that “doing good is doing

well”. Their dollars go to supporting the industry that earns them huge profits, even during a

pandemic,” stated Metzger. “We have to eat, wear clothes; we need transportation; and all of that depends on the supply chain, of which shipping is the biggest link.”

The organization is in its fifth year. To date, some accomplishments include raising over $2 million, funding 87 full tuition scholarships and grants for students from nine Caribbean nations, as well as helping to build a 100-capacity lecture theater.

“One benefit of COVID is that more people are hearing about the supply chain and the role that the shipping industry plays in it,” Metzger said.

To the young people, Metzger wants you to know the message of ACMF is to “consider career opportunities in the maritime industry.”

To shipping industry leaders, Metzger wants you to know that ACMF can serve as “worthy partners of cruise and cargo lines that are doing business in the Caribbean, can help meet your human resources needs with highly trained Caribbean nationals, assist them in improving their brand and reputation in the region, as well as in meeting your corporate social responsibility goals and objectives all at the same time,” Metzger stated.

This year, the organization will be focusing on growing to serve more young people in more Caribbean nations. It is also searching for its next chairman for the board of directors, who should be in the senior ranks in the maritime or financial industries.

The organization has also been invited to present at the 2023 show in Miami describing its work as an example of “best practice” in the industry by Seatrade, the world’s largest cruise tourism trade show.

For any questions, interested persons can reach ACMF by filling out the contact form here: Those who are interested can find more information on ACMF scholarships and grants here: They can support the work of ACMF and donate here: