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New Fortress donates tablets, laptops to 300 students

Published:Tuesday | September 8, 2020 | 12:16 AM
Fifth- and sixth-form students at Old Harbour High School are among over 250 students from across the island to receive tablets from the New Fortress Energy Foundation in preparation for back to school. The energy company has invested over $18 million in e
Fifth- and sixth-form students at Old Harbour High School are among over 250 students from across the island to receive tablets from the New Fortress Energy Foundation in preparation for back to school. The energy company has invested over $18 million in ensuring that close to 1,000 students in Clarendon, St Catherine and St James, were equipped with much-needed school supplies.

As uncertainty looms about the physical reopening of schools this term due to the increase in the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Jamaica and across the world, millions of parents are also concerned about the fate of their children’s education because they do not have the resources to access classes online.

In helping to relieve some of these fears, New Fortress Energy (NFE), founded by American businessman and philanthropist Wes Edens, has donated tablets and laptops to close to 300 students at the high-school and tertiary levels, increasing its financial support from J$10 million in 2019 to now over J$18 million this year.

Approximately 200 high-school students in Clarendon, St Catherine and St James have each received a 16GB Fire 7 tablet during the company’s back-to-school project, while others students who reside in very remote communities across the island, where Internet connectivity is low, have received Samsung Galaxy tablets with SIM cards through a donation to the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology’s ‘Tablets in Schools’ initiative. Additionally, students studying engineering at the tertiary level and who are part of the NFE Foundation’s Tertiary Scholarship Programme will receive Lenovo laptops.

Focus on Energy

Verona Carter, vice-president of public affairs at New Fortress Energy, said; “Education is a big focus for our founder and CEO Wes Edens, who believes that every child should have access to education. We also understand that this continues to be an incredibly challenging time for many families, with parents either having lost their jobs or they have been furloughed, or had to take a pay cut. We are therefore thrilled to be able to provide this level of support to help ease the burden for some parents during this COVID pandemic.”

In addition to the donation of tablets and laptops, approximately 800 students across Clarendon, St Catherine and St James, where the company operates its LNG plants, received school bags with notebooks, pens, pencils and reusable masks, plus vouchers valued at $10,000 each to purchase uniforms and other school supplies. Over fifty students also received bursaries valued at $50,000 each to cover tuition and external examinations. The energy company also donated hand sanitisers and temperature checks machines to the schools during the distribution drive.

“These are our future leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to helping these high-performing students reach their fullest potential, regardless of their social situation,” Carter said.