Aim high, security minister tells scholarship awardees
"I believe that your future is always in your hands, and a lot of times, we get things and continue getting things, and we don't value them. I believe that there needs to be a sense of community and a sense of responsibility for others, and I believe if this batch makes the effort, it is not only for them. It will also be for the children who are coming after them."
National Security Minister Robert Montague on Thursday challenged 2017-18 recipients of the Minister of National Security and Jamaica Police Federation Scholarships to push themselves to excel in their tertiary-level academic pursuits and not to settle for mediocrity.
As an incentive, he committed to extending the three-year scholarships by another school year for those students doing four-year courses under one condition.
"If 80 per cent of the students maintain a 3.0 grade point average (GPA), we will do it for four years," he told those gathered for the awards ceremony at the Girl Guides Headquarters, 2 Waterloo Road, St Andrew.
Montague was speaking after Inspector Sheldon Gordon had explained that the students needed to maintain a GPA of 2.5 to have their scholarships renewed for another two years.
... Mom welcomes education incentive for cops' kids
For Corporal Claudia Samms and her daughter, Kamoy Fagan, who just started a four-year teacher training course at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education in Spanish Town, St Catherine, National Security Minister Robert Montague's scholarship incentive was welcome news.
"It's going to motivate me to do well because at least I'll know that if I'm doing well in college then my tuition will be taken care of," Fagan told The Gleaner.
As one of 71 youngsters who collected a cheque for $200,000 each, Fagan was very appreciative.
"It will be good because it will be paying the majority of my tuition. So if I'm able to keep up my GPA for the three years, then I will be okay," the teacher-in-training added.
Montague drove home the point that if the students deliver on his challenge, he will extend the scholarship incentive to other batches.
He said that they should be willing to sow the seeds of success not only for themselves, but for others as well, having benefited from the altruism of those who came before.
"I believe that you should all try to make it easier for the person who is following. Just as how your parents have made it easier for you in many ways ... you make the demand and they deliver most times ... and you don't know what they have to give up for themselves in order to make you happy and to give you what you want," he said.
"Therefore, I urge all the students to appreciate the sacrifice of your parents and to tell your parents that you love them. As miserable as they are, they are still your parents and you couldn't be here without them. Many times when they look at their pay package and the needs that they have, you wonder how they make it, and even with the$1.5-million giveback of this Government, the salaries of our police officers leave much to be desired."