Sat | Oct 20, 2018

GraceKennedy Foundation awards children of staff members

Published:Friday | September 22, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Bursary recipients along with (from third left seated) Caroline Mahfood, executive director, GraceKennedy Foundation; Don Wehby, group chief executive officer, GraceKennedy; and Fred Kennedy, chairman, GraceKennedy Foundation.

The GraceKennedy Foundation has awarded 27 bursaries valued at $1.6 million to children of staff members who qualified for the 2017-2018 Carlton Alexander Memorial Awards.

In lauding the exceptional performance of the students, many of whom excel in academics, sports and community service, Don Wehby, GraceKennedy's group chief executive officer, said the bursary is one of the many ways the company reaches out to family members at GraceKennedy.

"We are very satisfied with the outcomes we have seen in the lives of recipients over the years," Wehby said.

These awards are given to students at the secondary and tertiary levels who have consistently excelled academically. High-school students, from grades seven to 11, will receive $40,000 for each of the first five years of high school, while sixth-form students will received $140,000 each for the two-year period. Students attending tertiary-level institutions receive a bursary of $100,000 for each year. Seven new students received awards, while 20 students had their bursaries renewed.

Dr Fred Kennedy, newly appointed chair of the GraceKennedy Foundation, reiterated that as recipients of the prestigious award, it was expected that the awardees would maintain academic excellence and be socially conscious individuals, in keeping with the ideals of Carlton Alexander.

Past Carlton Alexander Memorial Bursary recipient, now education officer in the programme monitoring and evaluation unit at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Daynea Bowes-Facey, was the keynote speaker. She challenged the students to give back in service to Jamaica. "Work with passion and stay hungry for excellence," she said.

The awards are given as a means of encouraging academic excellence among the dependents of GraceKennedy staff. The bursary recipients are judged on their academic performance, participation in extra-curricular activities and leadership potential, among other criteria.

"We have outstanding, capable students. Our expectation is for recipients to maintain at least an 80 per cent average, and most of our students far exceed that," said Caroline Mahfood, executive director of the GraceKennedy Foundation.