GraceKennedy Foundation Gives $1.5 Million to Students
The GraceKennedy Foundation awarded 26 Carlton Alexander bursaries, valued at $1.5 million, to assist employees across the GraceKennedy Group with their children's back-to-school expenses for the 2016-2017 academic year.
The bursaries, named in honour of the late Carlton Alexander, former chairman and CEO of GraceKennedy Limited, are given to students attending secondary and tertiary educational institutions.
The bursaries given to students in high school, from grades seven to 11, are valued at $40,000 each. Students in sixth form receive $60,000 for each of their two years, and those given to students attending tertiary-level institutions are valued at $100,000 each.
The awards are given as a means of encouraging academic excellence among the dependents of GraceKennedy staff. The bursaries are highly competitive and candidates are judged on their academic performance, participation in extra-curricular activities and leadership potential, among other criteria.
Having received an initial bursary through the foundation, the beneficiaries can continue to receive additional awards throughout their years at school.
Carolyn Mahfood, executive director of the GraceKennedy Foundation, pointed out that the process was not automatic as, in order to receive a renewal, the student must maintain at least a 'B' average.
"The bursary award is a good incentive for students to perform at their best. Most of the recipients work hard at obtaining good grades in order to receive the bursaries each year. Our 'we care' philosophy tangibly benefits staff members and their families. It also demonstrates GraceKennedy's commitment to using education as a vehicle for nation building," Mahfood said.
Grace Burnett, CEO at the GraceKennedy Financial Group, recognised the parents of the awardees, thanking them for keeping the wheels of the company turning.
"I also have to commend you for guiding your children along a positive path. I know that it is a tough job, especially with all our other responsibilities. I also know, though, that it is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world, especially when you see them succeed like they are doing today," Burnett said.
The GraceKennedy Foundation supports educational and environmental programmes and processes. It was established as a corporate-endowed foundation by Carlton Alexander in 1982 to mark the 60th anniversary of GraceKennedy Limited.