Mikael Phillips’ big promise - Scholarships for all Mile Gully graduates, says MP
Member of Parliament for North West Manchester Mikael Phillips has pledged to provide scholarships to graduates of Mile Gully High School who wish to advance their education.
Phillips was addressing the 65 graduates of the only high school in that section of Manchester, during the recent valedictory ceremony at Kendal Camp.
“If you decide to further your education, then we will undertake to ensure that you will get that opportunity by paying for your tuition, wherever it is that you’re going,” he said to thunderous applause from the graduates and audience.
He made the pledge as he told his own story about how not paying enough attention to his education while preparing for Caribbean Examinations Council exams at Jamaica College resulted in his having to repeat fifth form.
“Some have the opportunity [and] waste it; some have the will and don’t have the know-how or the opportunity to advance their education,” he said, vowing to provide the opportunity for students to advance their education.
“Some of you have the determination, but not the means; some of you have the means, but don’t have the determination,” he emphasised.
“And, if even, half of the students who take up the opportunity (the scholarship), imagine the impact they would have on their community, once they go out to further their own education.”
Pointing to guest speaker Shevauni Powell, acting branch sales representative at JN Bank and Mile Gully High alumnus, Phillips declared that many other graduates could achieve similar success if they are given the opportunity.
A WINNING MINDSET
In his address, Powell also encouraged the students to challenge themselves and hold themselves accountable for their success.
He urged them to be confident and to develop a winning mindset.
“You have to challenge yourself. To build your confidence, you must be willing to do what makes you uncomfortable; in other words, you must step outside of your comfort zone. Being comfortable never changed anything,” he told them.
Powell also encouraged the graduates to reject labels by redefining them and making them their own.
“Let them call us a country school, because we are way too large to fit in some town or city; and let them call us non-traditional, because we are leaders who set trends,” he said.
“We don’t fit in boxes like rectangles, because we think differently, and we think big. Show your Gully pride and they will step aside!” he said to thunderous applause.
The young banker also reminded the graduates to give back when they have succeeded.
“Remember, you never did it alone and you did not get there all by yourself. Therefore, you should never forget those people networks you were busy building – persons who helped you to affirm your confidence and gave you opportunities! You may not need to help some of them in return; however, you can help others to achieve what you did.
“There is no ‘bad mind’ in success,” he concluded, “because real winners only want to see others win.”
Mile Gully High is one of six rural non-traditional high schools which benefited from the Centres of Excellence programme implemented by the former Jamaica National Building Society, which is now JN Bank, and the Victoria Mutual Building Society, resulting in the increased capacity of administrators and educators to improve teaching and learning in the schools.