Eighteen JC students benefit from bursary awards
Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer
AKEEM NEIL spoke with a broad smile as he recalled the days he had to walk from Jamaica College (JC) to his home in Rockfort, Kingston, because of financial constraints.
Those obstacles will be a thing of the past, however, after he along with 17 other students walked away as recipients of a R. Danny Williams Bursary Award at a ceremony which was held on Wednesday on the school grounds.
The 16-year-old said the scholarship will go a far way in assisting him to pursue his studies comfortably, as his mother is currently unemployed.
"There were times when I only had my bus fare to come to school. I had to borrow books sometimes, because I didn't have enough materials to work with because the money wasn't there. Today, I don't have to worry so much about that," said the fifth-form student.
Ellis, who also earned a distinction in fourth form after attempting the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate mathematics examinations, said he will continue to do his best.
"I am really grateful because, though my mother is very dedicated, the truth is that she could have never afforded all the materials. My plan now is to improve on my studies," he declared.
R. Danny Williams, former chairman of the JC school board, in his address, charged the students to give of their best and make use of the opportunities.
"No matter how we try to put the best outside, the truth is that, persons will not perform effectively when they are hungry. Many students, unfortunately, are coming to school hungry, and for those of us who are fortunate, we have to find a way to bridge the gap," Williams said.
"I want to encourage you, though, to build on the assistance that you have received. Despite the tough circumstances, we can push through. When you have a solid foundation, you can build any mansion and education is your foundation," he said.
Guest speaker and chairman of the school board, Michael Bernard, also encouraged students to work hard and remain focused.
"I am like anyone of you. My mother had to struggle as a single parent. I even failed sixth form, but I was determined to fulfil my purpose and part of that purpose is to give back to my country," he said.
"You also have to take personal responsibility for your work. No one should have to tell you to revise what you have done and to read in advance. Push yourselves and create a balance, and I guarantee that you will be successful," he declared.