GraceKennedy awards young, promis­ing schol­ars

Jamaica Gleaner - - TODAY - Keisha.hill@glean­erjm.com

MORE THAN 75 young adults will see their dreams of pur­su­ing higher ed­u­ca­tion re­alised through a $17.5 mil­lion in­vest­ment by the GraceKennedy Foun­da­tion in schol­ar­ships and bur­saries. The foun­da­tion re­cently held its awards cer­e­mony and of­fi­cially handed over the fi­nan­cial awards to the stu­dents. Ac­cord­ing to Grace Bur­nett, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the GK Fi­nan­cial Group, GraceKennedy’s in­vest­ment in ed­u­ca­tion through its two foun­da­tions was aimed at im­prov­ing Ja­maica’s fu­ture. “All of our schol­ars are ex­cep­tional stu­dents, with most com­ing from low-in­come house­holds and would not have been able to af­ford univer­sity ed­u­ca­tion with­out as­sis­tance. Ed­u­ca­tion is a very im­por­tant area of fo­cus for GraceKennedy, which is why our two foun­da­tions – the Grace & Staff Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Foun­da­tion and the GraceKennedy Foun­da­tion – in­vest so heav­ily in our chil­dren,” Bur­nett said. “We want to be the game changer – chang­ing the struc­tures in in­ner-city com­mu­ni­ties, from dons to doc­tors or en­gi­neers or ac­coun­tants and the many other pro­fes­sions, de­vel­op­ing a strong work­force for Ja­maica’s fu­ture,” she added. Seven schol­ar­ships were pre­sented to first-time re­cip­i­ents, while ex­ist­ing schol­ars, who main­tained at least a B av­er­age, had their awards re­newed. The pres­ti­gious GraceKennedy Ja­maica Schol­ar­ship for 2016, ten­able at The Univer­sity of the West Indies (UWI), went to Avaughn Pren­der­gast, who is pur­su­ing a bach­e­lor of sci­ence de­gree in ac­tu­ar­ial sci­ence. A for­mer head boy at Charlemont High School in St Catherine, Pren­der­gast ob­tained nine grade ones in his Caribbean Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion Cer­tifi­cate (CSEC) ex­am­i­na­tions. He com­pleted 12 units of Caribbean Ad­vanced Pro­fi­ciency Ex­am­i­na­tion (CAPE) with grade ones and one grade two. He is pas­sion­ate about maths and rep­re­sented Ja­maica at the Math Olympiad in Nicaragua ear­lier this year. In giv­ing back to his alma mater, Pren­der­gast served as teach­ing as­sis­tant in his school’s sum­mer pro­gramme.

The Dou­glas Orane Schol­ar­ship (for a stu­dent study­ing sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy or en­gi­neer­ing at the Univer­sity of the West Indies (UWI), Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy (UTech), or the North­ern Caribbean Univer­sity (NCU) went to Stephan Pit­ter­son, for­merly of Cam­pion Col­lege. Pit­ter­son is pur­su­ing a bach­e­lor of sci­ence de­gree in bio-chem­istry at the UWI. He has eight CSEC sub­jects, with seven grade ones and one grade two. He has eight units at CAPE, in­clud­ing seven grade ones and one grade two.

RAF DIAZ SCHOL­AR­SHIP

For­mer GraceKennedy Chair­man and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Raf Diaz was on hand to present a schol­ar­ship named in his hon­our to Shanike Josephs, a first-year ac­count­ing stu­dent at UWI. Her ex­tracur­ric­u­lar in­volve­ment in­cludes mem­ber­ship with the Ja­maica Au­to­mo­bile As­so­ci­a­tion, United Na­tions Club, Girl Guides and In­ter­act. Josephs has nine CSEC sub­jects, eight with grade ones and one grade two. She also com­pleted eight units of CAPE, with seven grade ones and one grade two.

Other schol­ar­ships pre­sented in­cluded the GraceKennedy-Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy Ja­maica Schol­ar­ship, which went to Shanika Spencer; the Edna Man­ley Col­lege Schol­ar­ship to School of Drama stu­dent Wal­dane Walker; and the Bruce Rickards Schol­ar­ship, specif­i­cally for a Kingston Col­lege past stu­dent, went to Kadeem Camp­bell and Mark Lewis .

Fi­nal-year stu­dent With­ney DaCosta re­ceived the GraceKennedy-Caribbean Mar­itime In­sti­tute Bur­sary. The GraceKennedy Foun­da­tion also awarded sev­eral other bur­saries to stu­dents at­tend­ing UWI, UTech, Edna Man­ley Col­lege for the Vis­ual and Per­form­ing Arts, and the NCU.

The schol­ar­ship ap­pli­ca­tion pe­riod runs from May 1 to July 15 each year.

All of our schol­ars are ex­cep­tional stu­dents with most com­ing from low-in­come house­holds and would not have been able to af­ford univer­sity ed­u­ca­tion with­out as­sis­tance. Ed­u­ca­tion is a very im­por­tant area of fo­cus for GraceKennedy, which is why our two foun­da­tions … in­vest so heav­ily in our chil­dren.

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