Sacha Walters-Gregory, Staff Reporter
Forty-nine students received academic scholarships totalling over $5 million from Courts, as part of the Courts Customer Scholarship programme.
In a ceremony held at the Terra Nova All-Suite hotel on Wednesday, Court's Managing Director Dennis Harris congratulated the students on their hard work and encouraged them to take advantage of further education, an option which many qualified students are unable to access because of a lack of financing.
"At Courts, we wish we could do even more. We gave 49, we wish it was 1049," said Harris, indicating that there is a real need to fund education for a better quality of life. "I don't need to tell you that the number of applicants we had was vast, and in a way, it tells us of the need in Jamaica," he said.
The 49 scholarship recipients were successful GSAT students, tertiary students and students in skills-based training programmes. Twenty-nine GSAT scholarships valued at $100,000 each; 10 tertiary scholarships valued at $200,000 each, and 10 skills-training scholarships valued at $50,000 each were awarded.
"Scholarship recipients, getting here is a reflection of your effort, your commitment and your ability," said Harris. He implored them to continue to demonstrate the go-to attitude that had taken them this far and seize this opportunity and work hard, but above all he wants them to, "Think big", Harris said.
The scholarship programme is in its third year and has provided for approximately 200 students since its inception. The company's commitment to education, Harris noted, has resulted in an investment of over $100m in scholarships through its various social programmes over the last 30 years.
Marva Bernard, guest speaker and president of the Jamaica Netball Association, encouraged parents to forget frivolity and focus on their children's needs.
Harris turned it back to the students, asking them to make the best of their opportunities.
"I also want to share with you the fact that, no matter where you start from, it's where you end that matters," he said.