In a charge to 33 tertiary-level Jamaica 50 PetroCaribe scholarship winners on November 2, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller urged them to prepare for leadership in the future.
"My confidence is in you who are now embarking on your tertiary preparation. You are chosen ones, bright young men and women of character, with proven leadership abilities and a commitment to the development of yourselves and your nation," Simpson Miller told the awardees.
Emphasising that the gift of their higher education was not achieved overnight, but after generations of progress, the prime minister said, "You are representing the fulfilment of the great hopes and cherished ambitions of generations of our people who never had the opportunities that you enjoy today."
Meanwhile, chairman of the board of the PetroCaribe Development Fund Limited, financier the $209m Jamaica 50 Scholarship Programme, Dr Wesley Hughes, said the recipients were all outstanding young people who had already demonstrated qualities the nation needs in its leaders.
The scholarships were presented at a special function in St Andrew.
The Jamaica50/PetroCaribe Scholarship initiative is one of the Jamaica 50 legacy programmes.
In addition to the tertiary-level awards in July, the fund presented scholarships to 27 GSAT students.
The programme also recognised those students and 20 Ministry of Education GSAT scholarship awardees with Jamaica 50 PetroCaribe medals and plaques. All the scholarship awardees, at both secondary and tertiary levels, will be supported financially by the PetroCaribe Development Fund for the duration of their studies. The tertiary awardees will be contracted to work in the public service for five years.
Recipients of the Jamaica 50 PetroCaribe Scholarship and Awards, with acting general manager of the PetroCaribe Fund (PDF), Paulette Francis-Smellie (left), Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites (seventh from left), former prime minister Edward Seaga (centre), Minister of Finance and Planning Dr Peter Phillips (seventh from right) and (hidden at back), chairman of PDF, Dr Wesley Hughes, at the ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston on November 2.-Contributed