Students get back-to-school help
Charles Town, Buff Bay- Portland:
Eleven students from poor socio-economic backgrounds in Portland were awarded cheques and back-to-school packages during a specially arranged function put on by the newly formed Buff Bay River Valley Educational Foundation.
The foundation, which is headed by Osmond Welsh, a retiree, will be focusing on rendering assistance to students from some of the most depressed communities in west Portland whose parents are finding it increasingly difficult to come up with lunch money, bus fare, daily meals, school fees, and basic school items.
"Today, I stand proud as we are able to give back to these youngsters," commented Welsh.
"This foundation is here to stay, and our members are committed to the task ahead. This foundation was born out of the reality that too many of our children have suffered and have been denied the educational experience. With the launch of this foundation, the under privileged will be able to get assistance so as to spend time in school. Education is the only recipe to alleviate poverty," he added.
The 11 students, five of whom were awarded cheques valued at $10,000 each, were selected from six schools - including Tranquility Primary and Infant, Avocat Primary and Infant, Birnamwood Primary, Cascade Primary and Junior High, Charles Town Primary, and Fairfield All-Age - in the Buff Bay valley. Guest speaker Garth Gilmore from the Ministry of Education region two urged the recipients to make the most of the educational opportunities available to them, especially in these times when education is a passport to success.
"I urge you all to stay in school," he said. "Take time out to carefully select a career or profession of your choice. Concentrate on the one that suits you best and work towards it. There will be challenges, but remember to stay focused and work towards that goal," he added.