Cops' children get scholarships
One hundred children of policemen who have died or have been injured while on duty have been granted scholarships for their tertiary education by the Ministry of National Security in partnership with the Jamaica Police Federation.
Each scholarship is valued at $200,000 per year over three years, based on each student achieving and maintaining a 3.0 grade point average annually. The awards ceremony took place last Thursday at Curphey Place in Swallowfield.
The keynote speaker, National Security Minister Robert Montague, said whereas education was a tool for upward mobility, the major achievement comes when the student figures out what to do with that education to better himself or herself. The minister said bachelor's degrees are a dime a dozen today, so each student had to find ways to enhance that education for marketability.
"Don't rely solely on your education to take you to your destination. Rather, use it as a stepping stone. Apply the education to your environment. Volunteer with an organisation with which you want to work and get experience. Choose your mentor, don't wait on a mentor to choose you," he told the awardees.
Montague added, "Many young people are qualified, but jobless. So, even as you pursue your studies, be strategic and think about the opportunities available to you," he urged.
Montague called on the scholarship winners to take advantage of resources available to address issues and barriers that may prevent success. "Your parents and teachers have a wealth of experience and can provide useful advice. There is also the Internet, which has evolved to becoming the greatest platform for independence and self-growth. Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have become not only tools for self-expression and socialisation among the youth, but have become a career launching pad for persons who are now social media personalities," he noted.
Also speaking at the event, Sergeant Raymond Wilson, chairman of the Jamaica Police Federation, called on parents of the scholarship awardees to recognise their duty to ensure that their children are taught the meaning of self-esteem and civic responsibility. "Your children must learn to develop their own prototype and make the sky the limit," he said.
Students awarded were from several tertiary institutions, pursuing various fields of study, including engineering, animation and design, medicine, law, nursing and teaching. The minister has pledged to consider extending the scholarship to cover a fourth year, where the degrees are for that period and if the students maintain or surpass a 3.0 grade point average.