Sun | Oct 24, 2021

PEP scholars lauded for perseverance in pandemic

Published:Thursday | October 14, 2021 | 12:07 AM
Bianca Bennett
Bianca Bennett
Carissa Russell
Carissa Russell
Shawmikia Murray
Shawmikia Murray
Shellian Thompson, TANG brand manager.
Shellian Thompson, TANG brand manager.
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Three students who achieved outstanding scores in the 2021 Primary Exit Profile (PEP) exams have been awarded the TANG PEP Scholarships for 2021. The scholarships are awarded annually to one student from each county who has excelled in mathematics in particular, and the entire PEP syllabus in general.

The awardees are Bianca Bennett of Santa Cruz Primary & Junior High School in St Elizabeth for Cornwall; Carissa Russell of Naggo Head Primary School in St Catherine for Middlesex; and Shawmikia Murray of Rollington Town Primary School in Kingston for Surrey. Bianca is now attending Hampton School, Carissa is now at Campion College, and Shawmikia has moved on to the Immaculate Conception High School.

The total scholarship package was $240,000 to be shared equally among the three awardees, with each receiving $80,000 to assist with the start of their secondary-level education. This is a 60 per cent increase from previous TANG PEP Scholarship awards package of $150,000.

Celebrating the 2021 scholarship recipients, TANG Brand Manager Shellian Thompson said the brand was committed to the continued development of the nation’s children. She noted that the brand, distributed by Facey Commodity Company Limited, a member of the Seprod Group, is pleased to continue its contribution to the Ministry of Education’s annual scholarship programme for outstanding PEP performers.

“TANG is a product of excellence and therefore, it is a perfect fit for us to recognise students who are performing at a very high standard and who stand out among their peers. As we award these scholarships each year, we continue to be impressed by the quality of the scholarship winners selected by the Ministry of Education. We also recognise their teachers and parents for their tireless efforts to shape these young minds, who are the future of Jamaica,” noted Thompson.

The TANG brand manager lauded the awardees for exhibiting their commitment and determination to be at the top of their game, especially during the extremely difficult COVID-19 pandemic which emerged in early 2020, right in the middle of their PEP preparations.

“The decision for us to increase the pool of scholarship funds in 2021 was an easy one for us, because we really wanted to do something special for these three outstanding students who were able to shine despite the challenges presented by the pandemic. To be selected for one of these scholarships is a special and life-changing achievement for these students and they now join the TANG scholarship alumni, all of whom have gone on to successful academic exploits in high school and at the tertiary level,” said Thompson.

Terry-Ann Thomas Gayle, deputy chief education officer and head of the Exams and Assessment Administration Services Branch at the Ministry of Education, Youth & Information, also commended the scholarship awardees, noting that this was a new chapter in their lives that would require dedication, discipline and commitment. She pointed out that the ministry looked forward to continue working with partners like TANG in order to boost primary education in Jamaica.

The awardees reacted with excitement. “I am extremely elated and grateful to be awarded this scholarship. It’s an honour and huge blessing for myself and everyone who has played a part in my journey thus far. The financial assistance that the TANG Scholarship provides will be of great help to my parents in funding my educational expenses at Immaculate High, and it will allow me to concentrate fully on school. I am humbled and will continue to make my family and everyone proud,” said Shawmikia.

Carissa said, “I really can’t believe that out of so many students I received this scholarship, which will help to pay my high-school fees at Campion College. I have never been happier in my life. This scholarship proves to me that hard work pays off and I am grateful for the recognition. I will be working even harder in high school.”

And, Bianca is looking forward to making her mark at Hampton School as a TANG Scholarship recipient. “I am excited and filled with gratitude, as this award will help me and my family in a significant way. This is a special moment for me,” she said.