27 Jamaicans awarded Sandals scholarships
Twenty-seven Jamaicans are among 41 secondary-school students, from across the Caribbean, who are recipients of Sandals Foundation five-year scholarships valued at US$30,000 annually.
Through the Care for Kids Scholarship Programme, hundreds of outstanding secondary- and tertiary-level students in Jamaica, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Antigua, The Bahamas, and Saint Lucia have received funding for tuition, books, uniforms, annual medicals and tutoring. The programme also encourages mentorship, community outreach and sports development.
In celebration of the Sandals Foundation five-year anniversary in 2014, an incentive programme was introduced for beneficiaries, who maintain 'B' to 'A' averages and show marked improvement in core subject areas, to receive additional funding valued up to US$200 each in the areas of education, health, music, extra-curricular activities and sports.
Guest speaker at the event and reigning Miss Hanover Festival Queen, Andrene Hutchinson, charged the awardees to capitalise on all opportunities for their development.
"I, too, was a beneficiary of financial aid in high school and it helped to make me who I am today," she said.
"When we have limited resources, producing greatness from them is not impossible. You must decide how you can get the most out of what is given to you. Opportunities are here, grab them and use them to move forward; practise discipline, diligence and determination and that will create your success," she implored the students.
Vanessa Barnaby, of the Anchovy High School, who is entering her fourth year in the programme, said: "I am inspired to push myself to always do better and I'm happy to know that if I fall down, the Sandals team is always there to help me get back on my feet."
Patrick Stewart, parent of scholar Paulando Stewart, said, "I have seen where the incentives and the investment in my son's education have motivated him to work harder and his grades have improved.
Under its education programme, the Foundation has adopted 26 schools in the Caribbean and built two since its inception in 2009.