Manchester High past students ‘pay it forward’
Ten students at Manchester High School were on Monday awarded scholarships amounting to $550,000 from the class of 1992, as part of their efforts to drive education and give back to the institution that moulded them.
The students who were chosen from the eighth grade up to lower sixth form and were selected based on their needs, strong academic positioning and involvement in extracurricular activities, each received a total of $55,000.
Spokesperson of the class of 1992, Carla James, said the idea for this year’s donation was as a result of the changes that had to be made to their 30th reunion celebration, which was impacted by the pandemic.
“We wanted to do something different, since we weren’t able to meet in person. We started it with an idea, but through the generosity of our classmates we are here today, hoping we can make a difference in the lives of some students. Over the years we have come to the realisation that change will not come if we wait for someone else or some other time. We are the change that we seek and that is why we are here today to pay it forward.”
James said many of her own classmates revealed how difficult it was for them during their time and can only imagine the difficulties the students now must be facing in a harsher economic climate.
“Some persons [in my year group] were having it hard and I didn’t realise that. I am now a parent and I know how hard it is to get resources for school. So we thought it important to give back to our alma mater and what better way than to give back to our students to help them with their education,” she said.
Lower sixth-form student and one of the lucky recipients chosen out of 56 applicants, Brianna Hyman, said this grant will help alleviate the financial burden on her mother.
“When I applied I didn’t know I would have gotten it because I was thinking that there were students more deserving of it. But I am glad because it is really hard. I am from a single-parent home, it’s just my mother and she has two of us, so this will really help.
James added that the class of 1992, with members across the world, has managed to maintain a good rapport with one another and hopes to continue its donation of school supplies and grants to cover expenses for CSEC and CAPE subjects.
“We hope to do some fundraisers and we are hoping this can be an annual scholarship handover,” James said.