Mon | Sep 27, 2021

Woman of J’can parentage launches self-funded scholarship

Published:Wednesday | February 10, 2021 | 3:10 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer

Born of Jamaican parentage, 23-year-old Chaneal Simpson has launched a self-funded scholarship, targeting young university students.

Simpson is a graduate of Towson University and resides in Baltimore, Maryland.

Her parents spent their early years in St Thomas and Clarendon, before migrating to the United States as teens.

“I grew up coming back and forth to Jamaica because my family always made sure to instil the importance of Jamaican culture in all of the children in our family instead of encouraging us to assimilate,” she told The Gleaner on Monday.

She explained that she has always had positive interactions with Jamaicans, noting that poverty and lack of access to educational resources are common threads in their conversations.

Though miles away, the needs of Jamaicans are never far from her mind.

‘The Real Her Scholarship’ is a one-time US$1,000 award, which will benefit a female enrolled in her first year at a Jamaican university.

The scholarship was given that name to serve as a means of encouraging women to “be true to who they are”.

It is being funded out of pocket and additional funding may be garnered from the sale of branded T-shirts on the scholarship website.


“It is never too early to start giving back. Education is extremely important to me and I think education will be a key factor in solving many of Jamaica’s fundamental problems. The youth are the future. If we expect to see a brighter future, then we must invest in the youth,” she reasoned.

Simpson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in public health and philosophy in 2019.

An ardent student, she was placed on the dean’s list every year and graduated with a 3.5 GPA.

The benefactor currently works as a paralegal, but her ultimate goal is to attend law school and begin her career as a criminal justice attorney.

Applications are open and will close on August 1.

Visit to apply.