Tue | May 30, 2023

New scholarship launched for St James, Westmoreland girls

Published:Thursday | April 29, 2021 | 12:11 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer


Academically minded young women from the parishes of St James and Westmoreland are being given an opportunity to receive a newly launched scholarship, created in honour of the similarly academic and philanthropic Carmen Victoria Tomlinson, the late mother of outspoken gay-rights activist Maurice Tomlinson.

In explaining the idea behind the scholarship, which will be offered on an annual basis, Tomlinson said that he created it in tribute to his mother’s commitment to academic excellence and uplifting of the less fortunate in her community.

“In honour of my mother, I am happy to announce an award of CDN$1,000 (J$124,666.47) to a young woman between 16 and 18 years old from Westmoreland or St James, who demonstrates the following qualities that mom exemplified – academic curiosity, care for people [who have been] made vulnerable, and respect for the dignity and diversity of all humans,” said Tomlinson. “This will be an annual award, and in the future, winners will be announced on Mother’s Day.”

Carmen Tomlinson, who died on April 19 after a period of illness, was described by her son as a mother figure to many and a constant pursuer of educational and personal excellence.


“Mom was the oldest of five children, and at age 16 she left her family and community in rural Westmoreland and moved to Montego Bay to continue her schooling while working as a maid. She later had many careers, including teaching, customer service, and entrepreneurship,” said Tomlinson.

“Mom was a lifelong learner who pursued many development short courses, and was also committed to caring for persons made vulnerable through poverty and other circumstances. She regularly collected and delivered donations and care packages to underprivileged persons in and around St James and Westmoreland, [and] Mom also actively cared for many children who were not her own,” Tomlinson added.

Applicants for the scholarship must have at least four CSEC/GCE O level subjects or the equivalent thereof, as well as three academic references. They must also submit an 800-word essay outlining how each applicant envisions using education to care for the vulnerable and to show respect for the dignity and diversity of all humans.

The applications are to be submitted by May 30. Persons interested in applying or seeking additional details may make contact at maurice_tomlinson@yahoo.com.