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May Day Church of God launches scholarship, awards first recipient

Published:Saturday | August 31, 2019 | 12:05 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer:
The Reverend Dr Kenneth Smith hands over a congratulatory note to the first recipient of the scholarship named in his honour, Kimaney Smith Blair.
The Reverend Dr Kenneth Smith hands over a congratulatory note to the first recipient of the scholarship named in his honour, Kimaney Smith Blair.

May Day, Manchester:

The Church of God Jamaica in May Day, Manchester, has, for years, dedicated its mission to not only bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to all but serving the members of the church and community through various initiatives that inspire hope and make a significant difference.

It is for that reason that the church has launched a scholarship fund so, members who are high school students can receive tangible contributions towards their education.

“The idea came about from 2016 when Reverend Smith retired as pastor of this church, having spent 46 years in that position. In January of this year, the committee was formed. Last week we interviewed our applicants, and now, we have an awardee,” said chairman of the Reverend Dr Kenneth Smith Scholarship, Novelyn Chambers.

The scholarship, which will continue to be funded by the church, is valued at $50,000 per annum and will be awarded each year to a high-school student of the church.

“Once you are a student between second and sixth form, you can apply. However, a student that wins the scholarship cannot reapply until two years after. As the economic times change and funds are made [more] available, we hope to increase the amount. Presently, the applicants must be members of the church, but in future, if even more funds become, available, then we will make it more open,” Chambers said.

“It is important for the church to be doing this because we recognise that the needs are great and many of the parents are not in a position to finance these high-school students on a regular basis. We think it is just a part of our church philosophy to help, just as Jesus commanded in His word,” she added.

With the case of demand being greater than supply, Chambers said the Church was open to partnerships with corporate Jamaica.

“If we can extend this to corporate Jamaica, and have them be part of this programme, that would be great. We have had several fundraising initiatives, one of which JMMB supported, so we are hoping that as this is done, others will lend us a hand because education is very expensive and we rate education very high on our agenda here at this church,” she said

As the church members basked in their ability to finally move this initiative from paper to reality, none was happier than the recipient of the scholarship, Kimaney Smith Blair.

“I felt really excited and happy when I found out I was chosen. It feels good to be the first-ever recipient of this scholarship, and to know that this will help my parents get everything I need for school. It is really exciting. I like how the church impacts the community positively and gives everyone, especially young people, a chance to do good and know about Christ.”

Kimaney, who hopes to be a doctor, said that she will be working hard and looking forward to even more scholarships from various entities.

She said: “I just want to say thanks to my church for giving me an opportunity with this scholarship. It is going to help a lot, and thank you for making such a positive impact on my life and the lives of others.”

Smith, after whom the scholarship is named, encouraged Kimaney to remain focused on her dreams and to encourage others through her actions.

He told her: “You are the first recipient of the scholarship. What it means is that you have done well in your first form and you are going on to second form, and what is expected is that you will do equally or better than you did in your first year and prove that you are meritorious of it and appreciative of what this church has done for you. We wish for you God’s blessings, and may your time in high school be one of meaningfulness.”