Nicholas and Janice Brathwaite started The PETNA Foundation to formalize and expand what they have been doing for several years.
Nicholas E. Brathwaite was born on the tiny island of Carriacou, a parish of Grenada in the Caribbean. Carriacou, the largest of the Grenadines is only 13 square miles with a population of approximately 6,000. Nicholas is the son of Sir Nicholas A. Brathwaite, a former prime minister of Grenada.
Charles Brathwaite, Nicholas’ paternal grandfather, was an abused child who ran away from his home in Barbados at the age of 12 and therefore had very little formal education. His wife, Nicholas’ grandmother, had only an elementary education. Because they recognized the value of education for their son, Sir Nicholas (the third of ten children) was able to become an educator, education administrator, diplomat, Prime Minister and a knight.
With the importance of education ingrained in his life, Nicholas E. Brathwaite obtained degrees in Applied Chemistry and Polymer Engineering, was hired by Intel and went on to become a founding member of nCHIP. When nCHIP was purchased by Flextronics in 1995, Nicholas became Chief Technology Officer of Flextronics where his vision and technology leadership were instrumental in helping the company grow revenues from $150M to over $20B. Nicholas retired from Flextronics at the end of 2007 and became a founding partner of Riverwood Capital.
Because of his own family experience, Nicholas and his wife Janice believe education can improve lives and motivate educated individuals to improve their communities, thereby helping to make the world a better place.
Several years ago, Nicholas and Janice decided to help improve a village in Grenada. At the advice of their close friend, Pastor Lauriston Hosten, the Brathwaites started their mission in one of the poorest villages on the island. Located on the outskirts of the town of Victoria, the village was once known as “Grand Provah,” meaning great poverty.
The Brathwaites have provided financial support for several undergraduate and graduate students in various programs, including education and information technology. In addition, the Brathwaites have provided funds to rebuild homes lost to natural disasters, donated computers for a homework center, and partnered with Grenada’s Ministries of Health and Education and New York University’s College of Dentistry to deliver a two-week dental assessment and treatment program to all public school students throughout Grenada and the Sister Isles.
Through the PETNA Foundation, the Brathwaites have expanded their work to include other developing countries and regions as well as underprivileged areas in the United States, Canada and Britain.