Chil­dren of cops awarded ter­tiary schol­ar­ships

Jamaica Gleaner - - YL:STYLE -

AHUNDRED chil­dren of po­lice­men who are ei­ther cur­rently serv­ing, have been in­jured while on duty, or have died, have been granted schol­ar­ships for their ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion by the Min­istry of Na­tional Se­cu­rity in part­ner­ship with the Ja­maica Po­lice Fed­er­a­tion.

Each schol­ar­ship is val­ued at $200,000 per year over three years, based on each stu­dent achiev­ing and main­tain­ing a 3.0 grade point av­er­age an­nu­ally. The awards cer­e­mony took place on Septem­ber 29 at Cur­phey Place in Swal­low­field.

The key­note speaker, Min­is­ter of Na­tional Se­cu­rity Robert Mon­tague, said whereas ed­u­ca­tion was a tool for up­ward mo­bil­ity, the ma­jor achieve­ment comes when the stu­dent fig­ures out what to do with that ed­u­ca­tion to bet­ter him­self or her­self. The min­is­ter said bach­e­lor’s de­grees are a dime a dozen to­day, so each stu­dent had to find ways to en­hance that ed­u­ca­tion for mar­ketabil­ity.

“Don’t rely solely on your ed­u­ca­tion to take you to your des­ti­na­tion. Rather, use it as a step­ping stone. Ap­ply the ed­u­ca­tion to your en­vi­ron­ment. Vol­un­teer with an or­gan­i­sa­tion with which you want to work and get ex­pe­ri­ence. Choose your men­tor, don’t wait on a men­tor to choose you,” he told the awardees.

Ac­cord­ing to Mon­tague, stu­dents should be for­ward-think­ing.

“Many young peo­ple are qual­i­fied, but job­less. So, even as you pur­sue your stud­ies, be strate­gic and think about the op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able to you,” he con­tin­ued.

Mon­tague called on the schol­ar­ship win­ners to take ad­van­tage of re­sources avail­able to ad­dress is­sues and bar­ri­ers that may pre­vent suc­cess.

“Your par­ents and teach­ers have a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence and can pro­vide use­ful ad­vice. There is also the In­ter­net, which has evolved to be­com­ing the great­est plat­form for in­de­pen­dence and self-growth. Snapchat, Twit­ter, Face­book and In­sta­gram have be­come not only tools for self-ex­pres­sion and so­cial­i­sa­tion among the youth, but have be­come a ca­reer launch­ing pad for per­sons who are now so­cial me­dia per­son­al­i­ties,” he noted. It was also pointed out that pop­u­lar blogger ‘Dutty Berry’ was one such schol­ar­ship re­cip­i­ent who went on to make a name for him­self out­side of the dis­ci­pline he stud­ied.

Speak­ing at the awards cer­e­mony, Sergeant Ray­mond Wil­son, chair­man of the Ja­maica Po­lice Fed­er­a­tion (JPF), called on par­ents of the schol­ar­ship awardees to recog­nise their duty to en­sure that their chil­dren are taught the mean­ing of self­es­teem and civic re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“Your chil­dren must learn to de­velop their own pro­to­type and make the sky the limit,” he said.

Sergeant Ce­cil McCalla, gen­eral sec­re­tary of the JPF, said since the schol­ar­ship was in­tro­duced in 2003, 652 schol­ar­ships had been pre­sented. As an ex­am­ple of the out­stand­ing achieve­ments of some schol­ar­ship win­ners, he cited one stu­dent from Rae Town with nine grade one sub­jects at CXC and four As at the CAPE level who was among the first re­cip­i­ents and who went on to qual­ify as a med­i­cal doc­tor.

Stu­dents awarded were from sev­eral ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions, in­clud­ing the Uni­ver­sity of the West Indies, Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy, North­ern Caribbean Uni­ver­sity, Caribbean Mar­itime In­sti­tute, Port­more Col­lege, The Mico Uni­ver­sity Col­lege and Sam Sharpe Teach­ers’ Col­lege. The stu­dents were from var­i­ous fields of study, in­clud­ing en­gi­neer­ing, an­i­ma­tion and de­sign, medicine, law, nurs­ing, teach­ing, among oth­ers.

The min­is­ter has pledged to con­sider ex­tend­ing the schol­ar­ship to cover a fourth year, where the de­grees are for that pe­riod and the stu­dents main­tains or sur­passes a 3.0 grade point av­er­age.

Amoya McCalla (left) re­ceives her schol­ar­ship award from Robert Mon­tague, min­is­ter of na­tional se­cu­rity.

Robert Mon­tague (right), min­is­ter of na­tional se­cu­rity, hands over a schol­ar­ship award to Mario Wil­liams.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTOS

Gabrielle Gold­son (left) is pre­sented with her schol­ar­ship award by Robert Mon­tague, min­is­ter of na­tional se­cu­rity.

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