Carreras sets record with 90 scholarships
In its perennial commitment to higher education, Carreras, founded in 1962, has awarded its annual package of scholarships to 90 tertiary students, the highest recipient count to date for the island’s leading marketer and distributor of cigarettes and tobacco-related products.
Franklin Murillo, the company’s newly installed managing director, attributes the historic move in part to Carreras’ inaugural implementation of an online applications portal, which was launched earlier this year and has assisted the publicly traded industry leader in nearly doubling 2021’s 56-beneficiary tally.
“For the first time in our organisation’s history, candidates for the Carreras scholarships were able to complete and submit their applications electronically on the company’s website, and we are proud to have embarked on such a landmark move this year as we celebrate our 60th anniversary,” Murillo said of the yearly scholarship disbursements that date back to 1967. “Going green not only improved the efficiency of the scholarship administration process, but it allowed the company to better achieve its document management practices in reducing our carbon footprint and promoting sustainability.”
Jamaican scholars, 18 years and older, pursuing multiple disciplines across 17 universities, and community, art, agriculture and teachers’ colleges are issued yearly scholarships and bursaries by Carreras. The spend for these individual scholarships ranges from $100,000 to $1 million, and are awarded to students who have achieved at least a B average or 3.0 GPA in the previous academic year. The ‘A Better Tomorrow’ entity has awarded scholarships and bursaries to more than 180 students in need of financial aid islandwide over the past four years.
Like many businesses that had to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant protocols, Carreras forwent its usual scholarship awards ceremony last year, opting instead to make symbolic cheque and certificate presentations at the homes, schools and workplaces of select awardees. That handover initiative, dubbed ‘Carreras Cross Country’, complemented an overall scholarship payout that was valued at $15 million. This year’s allocation totalled $20 million.
“The Carreras scholarship changed my life. It has given me the opportunity to pursue my dreams. They believed in me and for that I’ll forever be grateful,” said Azailiah Smith, a first-year law student at The University of the West Indies, Mona.
“I would like to take time out to thank Carreras for giving me a helping hand to start my tertiary education at Northern Caribbean University. The support has made me realise that there is still hope,” said communication studies major, Theo Knight Tomlinson.