JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation transforms lives through scholarships
For the new academic year, 105 students who are financially challenged can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their tuition and other related expenses have been covered by the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation through its scholarship programme.
The foundation this year awarded $8 million in scholarships and bursaries to students, mainly at the tertiary level, in addition to students drawn from primary, secondary, and special-needs institutions.
The tertiary awardees were drawn from all of the major local universities, including The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona; the University of Technology, Jamaica; the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts; and Northern Caribbean University.
In sharing more about the scholarship process, which saw more than 2,800 students applying online, Patricia Sutherland, chairman of the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation, noted that in keeping with its commitment to transforming lives, the foundation made a deliberate decision to provide scholarships to bridge the financial gap and assist individuals to unearth their greatness in spite of the academic accolades of the applicants.
“We recognised that there is a gap that is not readily being filled, resulting in a significant number of financially challenged students not being able to benefit from the financial assistance available because they are not in the top percentile of their class, although they are average or above-average students,” Sutherland said.
“As such, the foundation’s scholarship considers the holistic applicant, including strong leadership potential, involvement in several extracurricular activities or charitable organisations, combined with sufficient academic aptitude and the financial circumstances of the applicant,” she added.
Sutherland said that they are proud that their investment has reaped great rewards in the lives of Jamaica’s young people and has had a rippling effect in inspiring families, peers, communities, and other youth who may have similar challenges.
“Many of our scholarship recipients have risen to the top amidst challenges of poverty, death of loved ones, sickness, and other socially debilitating problems. They have unlocked their greatness, recognising that ordinary people do extraordinary things, living true words of wisdom shared by my late mother, Joan Duncan, in whose honour the foundation is named,” she said.
As a signal of its commitment to education and investment in the local talent pool, the foundation has awarded more than J$20 million in scholarships to approximately 200 students at primary, secondary, tertiary and special-needs institutions over the last three years.