Windalco awards $2.8 million in scholarships
In its continued drive to invest in education, UC Rusal Alumina Jamaica Limited (Windalco) recently awarded more than J$2.8 million in scholarships and bursaries to tertiary students.
The award is part of the company's annual local scholarship programme, which, this year, saw 32 students receiving financial assistance from the bauxite company.
Monique Grange, information and public affairs officer, told The Gleaner that it has long been the policy of Windalco to give back to the community.
"Children are our future, and the most productive way to invest in them is to contribute to their education, and since we are big on education, we consider this award to these students a very important part of our community outreach," Grange stated, adding that the company also engaged other members of the community in short-term employment depending on their skill set.
Grange congratulated the students on a job well done. "We received a large number of applications. it was quite difficult to make a decision as to who would receive the scholarships. The company understands the financial difficulties faced by students and their parents and wish we could do much more to alleviate the challenges."
She also encouraged the recipients to continue to do well and to maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 to qualify for financial assistance each year.
Verona Dawkins, Windalco's employee and community relations manager, challenged the students to keep up the good work. "I want all of you to make us proud. Work hard so that when you graduate, you can apply for a job here at Windalco," she said.
Dawkins also said that despite the financial challenges the company is currently facing, no decision had been made to cut the annual scholarship programme.
Of the 32 recipients, 15 had been awarded scholarships and bursaries in previous years. The awardees are from communities in St Catherine, St Ann, Manchester, St Mary, and Portland.
Dawkins also encouraged students to keep in touch with the company and to let them know about any academic or personal obstacles they might face during their period of study.
The 32 students are pursuing degrees in the fields of engineering, medicine, business, dentistry, education, geography, communications, social work, information technology, law, and mathematics.