GraceKennedy Foundation presents bursaries valued at $1.2m to employees' children
Excellence never goes unrewarded! This was certainly the case at the 29th anniversary of the annual Carlton Alexander Memorial Bursary Awards Ceremony, held recently at GraceKennedy’s Harbour Street offices in downtown Kingston.
Eighteen children of GraceKennedy employees received academic bursaries valued at a total of $1.2 million in recognition of achieving excellent grades, being involved in extra-curricular activities, and providing leadership to others during the 2018-2019 school year.
Bursaries were awarded to secondary- and tertiary-level students, some of whom will be attending high school or university for the first time this September. Recipients from grades seven to 11 received $60,000 each, while those in sixth form got $80,000 for each of their two years, and those attending tertiary-level institutions receiving $100,000 each.
Executive Director of the GraceKennedy Foundation, Caroline Mahfood, congratulated the students who, she said, continued to make their parents and GraceKennedy proud. She highlighted the outstanding results of Gabrielle Findlay of Wolmer’s High School for Girls, who earned nine grade ones in her Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations; and Kahlil Walker of Manchester High, who received six grade ones in his Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) Unit I exams.
Mahfood also used the opportunity to highlight the hard work of the students, whose bursaries were being renewed because of the high standards they had achieved. Having received an initial bursary through the Foundation, students are eligible to continue receiving the benefit as long as they maintain a minimum average of a B or its equivalent.
Guest speaker Wayne Robinson, the acting principal of Jamaica College, shared with the students that in order to succeed, they must be mindful of the ‘three Rs’. He told the students to make time to review the day’s lesson on that day; repeatedly practise what they learn in order to become very good at what they do; and to read ahead in preparation for what is to come.
In joining the other speakers in acknowledging the outstanding achievement of the bursary recipients, Simone Clarke-Cooper, who represented Group Chief Executive Officer Don Wehby at the event, also praised the parents for their role in the children’s success.
“Today we recognise and celebrate the awardees of this bursary. We also want to acknowledge the parents of the awardees and let you know that we know what you do, day in and day out, not only to contribute to GraceKennedy, but to contribute to the achievement of your children,” Clarke-Cooper said.
“Many of you in this room have ‘gone back to school’ several times. You have sat PEP, you have sat end-of-term exams, and you have done CSEC examinations and CAPE. We know and we salute you. We know it’s challenging. But as you sit here today, you can say, it’s worth it,” she added.
The bursaries are named in honour of the late Carlton Alexander, former iconic chairman and chief executive officer of GraceKennedy.