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New Fortress to pump $10m into aiding students with back to school

Published:Monday | August 12, 2019 | 12:24 AM
Students in attendance at a previous New Forress Energy back-to-school fair.
Students in attendance at a previous New Forress Energy back-to-school fair.

More than 1,500 students attending primary and infant schools in Old Harbour, St Catherine, Clarendon and Montego Bay in St James are expected to benefit New Fortress Energy’s annual back-to-school education assistance programme this year.

The students will be treated to back-to-school fairs to be hosted in the company’s respective operating communities, with the first two fairs taking place tomorrow in Old Harbour and on Wednesday in the Jamalco refinery communities. The third fair will follow on August 21 in Montego Bay, where the company started its operation in Jamaica more than three years ago.

During each fair, each student will receive a voucher valued at J$7,000 to purchase uniforms and school supplies from local-partnered stores, as well as a backpack pre-packed with notebooks, pens and pencils. The company is also partnering with doctors and dentists who will be conducting school medicals and dental examinations. Community barbers will provide haircuts for the boys.


“We are passionate about playing a key role in fostering the economic and social development of the communities in which we operate. Education is a fundamental tool that can transform lives and provide a pathway to economic prosperity for our next generation of workforce,” said Verona Carter, vice president, New Fortress Energy.

“That is what our back-to-school education assistance programme is all about. We work with the schools and the community leaders to identify those boys and girls who have huge potential academically but who need financial support to realise their true potential, while relieving parents of some of the stresses that come with the back-to-school preparations,” continued Carter.

Recognising the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in early-childhood education, New Fortress Energy has also partnered with Halls of Learning, official partners of the World Robot Olympiad, for the second consecutive year, to deliver a robotics and coding camp to students attending the Back-to-School Fair in the Jamalco refinery communities on Wednesday.

Bolstering economic growth and community empowerment through education

of the New Fortress Energy overall education assistance programme, 50 students attending high schools in its operating communities will also be awarded with bursaries of J$50,000 each to cover tuition and the cost of CSEC/CAPE exams. Then in September, approximately 30 students pursuing studies in STEM at The University of the West Indies, Mona; the Caribbean Maritime University; and the University of Technology, Jamaica will also benefit from full and partial scholarships to complete their studies.

Since the start of its operations in Jamaica more than three years ago, New Fortress Energy has invested in excess of J$54 million in awarding scholarships, bursaries and other back-to-school support to more than 5,000 students across the primary, high-school and tertiary levels.

“A big part of our commitment to the sustainable socio-economic development of Jamaica is giving back to the young people in the communities where we operate in meaningful and impactful ways that will empower them – whether it’s through education, skills training or providing the tools and resources to foster entrepreneurship,” added Vice-President Verona Carter.

New Fortress Energy, which first started Jamaica’s transition to natural gas with its state-of-the-art liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Montego Bay, recently completed the historic unveiling of its 190-megawatt floating storage regasification terminal in Old Harbour, further positioning Jamaica as the LNG hub of the Caribbean. The company also converted the JPS’s 145-megawatt Bogue power plant from diesel to natural gas and provides LNG to local partners like Red Stripe. New Fortress Energy is also developing the 94-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant at Jamalco in Halse Hall, Clarendon.