Tue | Dec 6, 2022

‘We believe in you’

Education minister urges students to take good care of education investment

Published:Friday | August 12, 2022 | 7:34 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/Gleaner Writer
Education Minister Fayval Williams (second left) presents  Abbigayle Thompson, student of the Denbigh High School, with her scholarship while Pearnel Charles Jr (second right), MP for Clarendon South East, presents her with a backpack. Also present are Ver
Education Minister Fayval Williams (second left) presents Abbigayle Thompson, student of the Denbigh High School, with her scholarship while Pearnel Charles Jr (second right), MP for Clarendon South East, presents her with a backpack. Also present are Verona Carter (left), New Fortress Energy vice president, and Scean Barnswell, councillor for the Hayes Division, at the New Fortress Energy-sponsored back-to-school fair held at the Wembley Centre of Excellence in Hayes, Clarendon, on Tuesday, August 9.

EDUCATION MINISTER Fayval Williams on Tuesday encouraged students at the New Fortress Energy back-to-school fair to take good care of the investment that has been made in their education.

The approximately 600 students who turned up at the Wembley Centre of Excellence in Hayes, Clarendon, received free medical and dental checks, back-to-school supplies, book vouchers valued at $10,000, scholarships and tablet computers, courtesy of the energy company.

In commending parents for their hard work and commitment to their children’s education, Williams reminded the children of the significance of the company’s gift.

“Boys and girls, the fact that you’re here this morning means that we believe in you; your school believes in you; the Ministry of Education believes in you; your parents believe in you and New Fortress Energy believes in you,” she said, adding they should use the investment in their education to achieve their fullest potential.

Member of Parliament for the area, Pearnel Charles Jr, lauded parents, the community council and leaders for giving of their service in continuing to steer the youth in the right direction.

“I know sometimes it feels like the task is overwhelming, but there are a lot of positives taking place in our country and sometimes they do not get highlighted and today is one of those days,” he said in reference to New Fortress’ gift to the students.

Verona Carter, vice-president of New Fortress Energy, in sharing a message from chairman and founder Wes Edens, affirmed the company’s passion for education.

“We believe that access to education is not a privilege, it’s a right. So, we are excited to see the faces of these boys and girls who are sitting before us today, who represent the future leaders and innovators of our country and who have been selected by their schools as top performers,” she said.

She also noted that at the heart of the company’s back-to-school programme is the aim to secure a brighter future and a better life for students and their families.

Carter closed her remarks by encouraging the students with a quote from Nelson Mandela: ”It is through education that the daughter of a farmer can become a doctor, that a child of farm workers can become president of a great nation. So, the future belongs to all of you, and we are so thrilled to be a part of your journey.”

Councillor for the Hayes Division Scean Barnswell reminded students that education is the bridge between poverty and wealth and, if persistent, they could very well be the next prime minister or president of New Fortress.

Abbigayle Thompson, a recipient who attends Denbigh High School, in expressing gratitude, said the donation will ease the strain on her mother who is currently unemployed.

cecelia.campbell@gleanerjm.com