Three students from Tivoli Comprehensive High School who performed exceptionally well in their Caribbean Examinations Council exams have been awarded scholarships totalling $300,000 by The Graduates Foundation - a not-for-profit organisation of young professionals who tutor students from inner-city areas for free.
This year's scholarship winners are King Wellington, now enrolled at Jamaica College sixth form (a long-standing partner of the foundation) and Shadine Gordon and Chevan Hussey, both of whom are now at Excelsior Community College. The three scholarship awardees, all 17 years old, passed 11, nine and seven CXC subjects, respectively. King obtained 11 CXC passes despite the death of his mother in February, which saw his 24-year-old sister taking over as his guardian.
Co-founder of The Graduates Foundation, attorney-at-law Andrea Scarlett-Lozer, noted that the foundation recorded a greater than 80 per cent pass rate among its candidates in both mathematics and English language, while the national averages in both subjects lag at less than 50 per cent each. This, she said, is evidence that inner-city youths can do well with the right support.
"The Graduates Foundation demonstrates that with the right kind of support, students from poor communities can excel and be propelled on the social mobility ladder," Scarlett-Lozer said.
The Graduates Foundation offers students from poor communities free CXC classes, scholarships for sixth form and tertiary institutions, personal development workshops, field trips, mentorship and career planning advice.
Every two years, they recruit about 40 students from Tivoli Gardens Comprehensive High School, Donald Quarrie Comprehensive High School, Kingston High and St Andrew Technical High School for this benefit.
Each cohort of students attend their classes held at Jamaica College for two years. At the end of the tenure of each cohort, scholarships are awarded to students who perform well on their CXC exams.