MCCU brightens smiles with bursaries for back to school
Tamara Bailey, Gleaner writer
Mandeville, Manchester:Many stories have been told of individuals who missed out on educational opportunities and academic pursuits due to several mitigating factors, the most common being that of financial aid. Then there are the stories of the Good Samaritans who have helped open doors for many, making the impossible possible.
The Manchester Co-operative Credit Union (MCCU) could be deemed a Good Samaritans, as it handed out approximately $750,000 in bursaries to successful Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) students and high-school graduates recently at their annual Sydney Carter & GSAT Bursary awards at the Mandeville Hotel in the parish.
Fifteen successful GSAT students moving on to high schools in and around Mandeville received $10,000 each, while six high-school graduates, who have successfully matriculated for the University of the West Indies (UWI) and Northern Caribbean University received $100,000 each.
Among the GSAT students who received bursaries was the top GSAT student for the parish, Beloushii Levy, a graduate of Frankfield Primary and Infant School, moving on to Bishop Gibson High School.
Levy's mother, Rosemarie Williams, said she had no doubt that her daughter would have received this grant and is pleased it will join the others she has received.
"Beloushii has received several other scholarships and aid. She has received grants from JAMALCO, from a Canadian-based company the Future Achievers International Scholarship, the Aubrey Phillips scholarship ... too many to mention," said Williams
She continued, "All she has to do is to keep up the good work and maintain the scholarships as they are awarded yearly based on the grade she maintains."
Unlike Levy who has secured several financial aids, bursary awardee Kimoye Watson, who successfully passed her CAPE and will be studying medicine at UWI, is very much appreciative for what she has received so far and hopes this will be the first in a series of financial aids.
"It's very costly to study medicine and this will go a far way in helping with the expenses I'll incur. This is my only bursary so far, but I am hopeful that it will be the start for more to come. I won't stop seeking scholarships: I have a goal in mind and I need to reach it."
grateful to parents
The first vice-president of the MCCU, Leslie Thomas, during her charge appealed to the recipients to accept their accolade with pride and be grateful to parents who have worked in helping them acquire it.
"The state of the Jamaican economy has placed us in what I consider to be a tight jacket, at a place where decisions have to be made very carefully as to what is most important and what we must do as priority. It is, therefore, important for all of us adults to create hope and to help the young people to understand that there are meaningful opportunities for them," stated Thomas
She continued, "You are not too young to set a standard for yourself that will be the envy of others: be that spark in your class that others would want to be like; work hard to achieve your goals and use your time wisely. You may have limited resources but be content with what you have and what your parents are able to afford. Practise discipline, diligence and determination. Be grounded, do not be swayed by what friends may say. Don't prostitute your pride."
Speaking on behalf of the recipients, Brittany Brown said the timing of the bursary is perfect and the academic achievements and diligent savings haven't gone unnoticed. She said that the faith MCCU has in the recipients will be worked upon for a positive outcome.
The MCCU's Sydney Carter and GSAT bursaries have been in existence for the past 10 years and have helped several students in and out of Manchester move closer to achieving their dreams.