Aim Higher Foundation Scholars reaching for the stars
Two recipients of the AIM Higher Foundation Scholarship, Jahnoy St Jacques of Jamaica College and Shantae Shand, a sixth-form student at Campion College, have attributed their achievements to their innate drive to succeed despite their circumstances.
St Jacques said his determination comes from his personal desire to not only achieve, but also to give back to his family and those who have helped him along the way. A high achiever, St Jacques is from the Tivoli Gardens community and is unfazed by the negative labels that have been attached to the area.
"There are countless members of my family that have helped me to get here, including my mother. She lives vicariously through me because our family has been so poor. She has given me all the opportunities that she didn't have," he said.
Despite the numerous socio-economic challenges he has faced, St Jacques is optimistic about his future. With a passion for law and medicine, the former St Aloysius Primary School head boy will pursue studies in medicine at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona.
"Law equips persons with knowledge about their rights, and I believe both work hand in hand. I will be in a position to make and change medical policies that can accommodate everyone while I also operate in the field of medicine," he said.
DAUNTED BY FEES
Despite his numerous academic and extra-curricular achievements, with passes in 12 CSEC and five CAPE subjects; St Jacques was daunted by the fees associated with pursuing his studies at the UWI.
However, Nicole McLaren Campbell, founder and head of AIM Educational Services, decided to help St Jacques acquire the necessary funding for his course of study. "His scholarship includes room and board, and we will also ensure that he gets the mentorship he needs to complete his studies here," she said.
On the other end, Shand, a resident of Portmore, St Catherine, will pursue studies in civil engineering and international studies at Lafayette College in the United States. The outspoken and articulate former Miss Campion College winner said she is intrinsically motivated to succeed and is happy with her success.
"My mother grew me as a go-getter. I have always been a talker, and I think this is where international affairs come in. I want to give back to my country when I am finished pursuing my studies in terms of its infrastructural development," she said.
According to McLaren Campbell, when Shand's interview was completed, the university representative's were impressed with her. "I have never seen them so excited about anyone else that they have interviewed, and they have been coming for five years," she said.
The foundation has helped students to access over $100 million in scholarships to attend institutions abroad, including Amherst College, Howard University and Lafayette College.