Tue | Sep 18, 2018

Dennis' Dream - Courts awards over $6 million in scholarships

Published:Wednesday | August 15, 2018 | 12:00 AMSyranno Baines/Gleaner Writer
GSAT scholarship recipients at The Courts Customer Scholarship Awards Ceremony held at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston yesterday.
Dennis Harris (left), managing director, Unicomer presents Clive Nembhard, skills training scholarship recipient, with his certificate at the Courts Customer Scholarship Awards Ceremony held at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New KIngston yesterday.
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A successful country where every child gets the opportunity to maximise their learning potential and realise their dreams without depending on scholarships is the fervent wish of Dennis Harris, head of Unicomer Jamaica Limited, the operators of the Courts furniture chain.

Speaking with The Gleaner shortly after a ceremony at The Knutsford Court Hotel where Courts Jamaica awarded secondary and postsecondary scholarships to 44 students across the country, Harris underscored that the company would continue to support the educational pursuits of the nation's children.

But, at the same time, he dreams of a Jamaica with resources to sufficiently invest in every child, making the need for scholarships a thing of the past.

"Even though we're giving out 40-odd scholarships this year, there are thousands who need additional support that may not be getting it, and for us to consider ourselves to be successful as a country, we have to be able to give 100 per cent of our children that opportunity," said Harris.

He encouraged the recipients to seize the opportunity and give 100 per cent effort in their individual endeavours.

"It's not about repaying Courts; it's all about making sure that you, as an individual, feel fulfilled and put out maximum effort each and every day," he advised.

The Courts Dare to Dream Scholarship Programme application process opens in June and closes in the first week of July annually.

Recipients are selected based on their unique personal and family dynamics. Additionally, their school and community activities, as well as academic record and a statement of educational and career goals, are also assessed.

The 44 recipients, who are all Courts customers or their dependents, were selected from a pool of more than 700 applications.

In her opening remarks, Business Unit director at Unicomer, Ann-Marie Walters, stated that through the programme, Courts had been able to provide financial assistance to more than 2,500 students throughout the years.

"In fact, over the past 32 years, we have invested in excess of $110 million in scholarships," she disclosed.

syranno.baines@gleanerjm.com