Jermaine Francis, Staff Reporter
It was excitement all around yesterday as the 'Fab Five' recipients of the inaugural LIME-Gleaner Inner-city Overachievers scholarship were taken on a whirlwind shopping experience for some crucial back-to-school supplies.
The five scholars - Shaquille Thomas, Latoya Jibbison, Britney Hemmings, Kory Hamilton, and Chevoy Craigie - said they were all overwhelmed by the barrage of supplies they were given.
"This is awesome! I loved all of it. This will definitely encourage me to not only work to make my family proud, but now I have to work even harder to make the entire Jamaica proud," Latoya exclaimed.
Their first stop was the Sangster's Book Stores in Tropical Plaza in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew, where they were each given $20,000 to purchase school bags and items from their book lists.
However, that was not all. Sangster's decided to give the elated students, who did exceptionally well in their Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), several stationery items.
Then it was off to MegaMart, where the 'Fab Five' were each given $10,000 towards the purchasing of school shoes, uniforms, and other back-to-school materials.
The children's faces were full of glee as they pushed their trolleys through the aisles of the store and tried on khakis, shoes, sporting gear, and even perfumes.
Kory, who will be starting Wolmer's Boys' School next week, said that this was the best part of the experience for him.
"I enjoyed shopping at MegaMart because most of the stuff I wanted, they had it there," he said smiling.
Before they left the store, however, MegaMart's public relations and marketing manager, Simone McFarlene, announced that they would be giving each child an additional $5,000 to shop at his or her own convenience.
As if that was not enough, the bright sparks, along with their parents, were then escorted to the Island Grill restaurant in Twin Gates Plaza in Half-Way Tree, where they were treated to lunch as the specially invited guests of the fast food chain's CEO and managing director, Thalia Lyn.
Lyn said she jumped at the idea to partner with LIME and The Gleaner on this initiative. She said that going forward, she is looking to strengthening the partnership and she would be inviting the overachievers back to her restaurant a year from now to track their progress.
Public relations officer for the telecommunications provider LIME, Danielle Savory, said the idea for the LIME-Gleaner Inner-city Overachievers was created to assist children who performed above average in their GSAT exams but are facing extreme financial difficulties.
In addition to the shopping spree, the five overachievers also received tablets from LIME and have been named LIME Skool Aid ambassadors.