Mon | Oct 26, 2020

Mavis Scarlett Foundation seeks assistance to expand reach

Published:Monday | September 28, 2020 | 12:08 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer
Stephanie Dunstan
Stephanie Dunstan

United States-based, Jamaican Stephanie Dunstan is seeking to expand the reach of the Mavis Scarlett Foundation, which was formed in 2016 and incorporated in 2018.

Her grandmother, in whose honour the foundation is named, worked as a librarian at The Queen’s School in Kingston for over 35 years.

“She was instrumental in my upbringing, and I just always remember her telling me that I should focus on my education and that education would be the key for me to succeed in life,” she recalled.

Dunstan migrated at age 10, and when her grandmother passed in 2004, she said she had to do something to keep her name alive.

She said that the foundation operates under the principle of coaching and positively guiding children to become productive adult citizens while breaking the poverty cycle.

It currently depends on the donations of family and viewers of social-media advertisements, who then make their contribution on the foundation’s website.

COST OF CUP OF COFFEE MAKES AN IMPACT

“I usually tell people, the cost of a cup of coffee can make a drastic impact in the lives of these kids,” she said, adding that just over 30 students have been assisted with their school fees, books, and uniforms.

The recipients are from Watson Grove Basic School and Hamilton Garden Basic School, both in Portmore, St Catherine.

The latter school was attended by Dunstan.

“As we continued to grow through increased donations in 2019, that’s when we extended the partnership to another school. We also did a private scholarship last year, which benefited a tertiary student,” she said.

Among the beneficiaries each year are a top performer from each school while the remainder are needy students.

The selection process has been aided by Vice-President Radcliffe Briscoe, who is based in Jamaica.

“The team at the Mavis Scarlett Foundation are determined to continue our mission despite the global economic challenges. Ultimately, we want to secure a partnership with a corporation in Jamaica,” shared Dunstan.

She added that the intent of corporate sponsorship is to expand their collaboration with more schools as their vision is to make quality education affordable for all students.

Persons wishing to contribute to the Mavis Scarlett Foundation can do so by visiting their website at https://www.mavisscarlettfoundation.org.

judana.murphy@gleanerjm.com