Church gives big bucks in scholarships
In a time when many are calling on the Church to do more, the Emmanuel Apostolic Church in Portmore has stepped up to the plate and awarded over half a million dollars in scholarships to students in and around the community.
The 23 beneficiaries ranged from those in primary school all the way to university, with a breakdown showing one primary recipient, eight tertiary and 14 secondary students. The total disbursement was valued at $600,000.
The ecstatic students, who received the scholarships at a special ceremony at the church recently, were selected from a pool of applications based on their grade point average (GPA), as well as their involvement in their respective communities and church.
One recipient, Dessandra Fairclough, who is a second-year student at the University of the West Indies with a GPA of 3.5, asserted that receiving the scholarship was "humbling".
Meanwhile, Nicolas Matthews, youth chairman, had praises for the high quality of candidates who applied, noting that Emmanuel Apostolic sought to award the scholarships as part of its overall annual free back-to-school drive and empowerment day where, this year, over $1 million in school supplies and scholarships were distributed to hundreds of persons in the community.
"As part of the scholarships, we also awarded the inaugural Bishop C Everton Thomas 'Straight As and Occasional B' scholarship for $100,000. We believe if we're going to transform our community, we have to first work on renewing the minds of the people, and we think that education is a critical vehicle in allowing us to achieve that target," Matthews said.
Also supporting the initiative was state minister in the culture ministry and Member of Parliament for East Central St Catherine, Alando N. Terrelonge, who contributed a scholarship. He also assisted with some back-to-school supplies at the church's recent fair. Terrelonge said it was important for him to give back to the community because education is the best gift a society can give its children.