Growth & Jobs | JN scholars get lessons on financial management
THE IMPORTANCE of fostering financial responsibility was a key emphasis for several scholarship recipients at the JN Foundation PEP Scholarships Awards held at the Summit, New Kingston, on November 12, in recognition of Youth Month, observed in November. The occasion marked JN’s 40th year of awarding scholarships.
In recognition of their exceptional performance in the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) exams, 37 children were granted five-year scholarships by the JN Foundation and a further 10 students were offered grants by JN Money, a member of The Jamaica National Group.
Among the 37 recipients, 14 emerged as the top-performing applicants from each parish, and three were the top-performing applicants from each county. The remaining 20 scholarships were awarded to the children of JN Group employees.
Shanae Morris, assistant manager for partnerships and engagement at JN Bank, encouraged the students to strive to be well-rounded to ensure that they are not only performing well in school, but also are financially literate and capable of managing money.
“The reality is that money management is not a subject that you will see on your school timetable, and it is for that reason, we, as a financial institution, are seizing this moment to guide you in this very important area,” Morris said.
“Developing sound money-management skills now is like planting the seeds for a secure financial future. As you continue on your educational journey, it’s important to understand that financial literacy is a critical life skill that will serve you well in the years to come.”
Referencing the theme of the event, ‘Pursuing Excellence, Honouring Purpose’, Morris emphasised that pursuing excellence extends to all aspects of life, including how finances are managed.
“The pursuit of excellence in money management is a journey that will require much commitment. Keep learning about finances and continue to build on your money- management skills. The financial decisions you make now will have a profound impact on your future,” she advised.
She also pointed out that persons who develop the habit of saving, as children, tend to become more responsible with money when they become adults.
“If you manage your money well, then it will be there to serve you when you need it. The converse is also true. If you waste money, there will be none when you really need it.”
The money-management advice was relatable to Danielle Lamb, Darien Thomas, and Yukika Harris, who emerged as this year’s JN Bank Easi-Save scholars for the counties of Middlesex, Surrey, and Cornwall, respectively, because of their exemplary saving habits and outstanding performance in the PEP exams.
For 11-year-old Yukika, a former student of Glen Stuart Primary who is now a grade seven student at St Elizabeth Technical High, gaining a JN Foundation scholarship was especially meaningful.
“I feel great because I love to help my mom in any way I can, and I thought the scholarship would really help her out a lot,” said Yukika.
She related that since opening her account three years ago, she has been saving consistently. Her savings goal is to assist with paying for her CSEC subjects when she reaches grade 11.
Her mother, Annmarie Black, a single parent who vends outside a clinic in St Elizabeth, disclosed that she encouraged her four children and grandchild to begin saving from an early age by opening accounts for them.
Similarly, Darien, a grade seven student at Campion College, has remained disciplined since opening his savings account eight years ago.
“Every week I save,” said Darien, who aspires to become a motor sport driver. He uses a piggy bank to save at home then he and his father take the funds to the bank to lodge it.
JN Bank Easi-Save Programme, formerly the JN School Savers’ Programme, has been ongoing in many primary, prep, and high schools across the country for the past 22 years to help students achieve short-term and long-term saving goals. Each year, three students, one from each county, who are participants in the programme, are awarded scholarships.