Wed | Nov 20, 2019

NCB Foundation helps scholars achieve their dreams

Published:Sunday | September 1, 2019 | 12:06 AM
Lloyd Richardson (right), manager, NCB Banking and Financial Services Centre, presents Dean Murdock with his official NCB Foundation Scholar plaque during the awards ceremony.
Eleven bright young men walked away with scholarships of $300,000 for each year of university in the 2019 NCB Scholarships and Grants Programme.
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Ten years ago, Dean Murdock watched as his dream of pursuing a university degree slipped out of his grasp. As a 19-year-old young man from Fellowship district in Portland, he had high hopes of utilising the theoretic and practical training he would receive at the University of Technology (UTech) to build his community and, by extension, his country.

Sadly, those dreams were put on pause as he and his family were unable to satisfy the financial requirements needed for him to enrol to complete his studies.

“It has been a 10-year wait with me, struggling to get the finances together to send myself back to school, while also supporting my family. Over the years, I’ve worked in a number of temporary positions in various organisations, such as supermarkets, libraries, restaurants and security firms,” he said

Dean explained that one of the reasons he was unable to enrol in university is because he was unable to get loans, based on the risk levels associated with the field of study he wanted to pursue.

“The architecture degree programme is in excess of $500,000 a year for four years. That is a total of two million in debt at the end of my studies and, unfortunately, with an architecture degree, there is no guarantee of employment right out of school,” he shared.

DRIVING FORCE

When asked what was the motivating factor driving his dream of going back to school even after 10 years, he shared that he was not yet finished, and he wanted to set a good example for his son.

“I am a finisher. I like to complete every task that I start, and for the past 10 years I’ve been trying new formulas towards the completion of my studies. I am also grooming my six-year-old son and teaching him not to give up on his dreams. I want to be an example for him to follow in regard to the importance of finishing what has been started,” he said

Turning over every rock to see what opportunities would be granted to him, Dean applied for the 2019 NCB Foundation Scholarship and was chosen as one of 28 scholars who would each receive $300,000 funding each year for the duration of their studies. He will be starting UTech in September to read for a bachelor’s degree in engineering and construction engineering, which he hopes will help him to advance to the architecture programme.

Trying to contain his emotions, Dean, who is the president of his community youth club and the main tutor and homework helper for members of his family, expressed that he was more than grateful to have been granted an opportunity to earn a certification and pursue his dreams.

“Architecture has always been my dream, and I consider myself as an artist of design and measurements. This certification will help me to establish myself and push me towards the fulfilment of my dreams,” he said.

This year, NCB Foundation awarded scholarships to 11 young men from across the island, the highest number of male recipients the programme has ever supported in one year.