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Wise Women Club helping youths obtain tertiary education

Published:Sunday | April 11, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Wise Women Club members (from left), Janki Chanderam, Rita Hilton, Jenny Hannah, Denise Dear, Laurice Brown, Audrey Small and Judy Dear.

Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer


Members of the Montego Bay business and philanthropic community continue to support the Denise Dear-led Wise Women Club in its efforts to assist students realise their dream of a college education.

According to Dear, founder of this charitable organisation, the initiative began more than six years ago to assist students with tertiary studies.

"So far, over 20 students have benefited from the programme and our efforts continue to increase those numbers because we believe that there are a lot of children out there who would like to further their studies at the tertiary level but they do not have the funds to do so," Dear told Outlook.

The group of eight women, namely Janki Chanderam, Rita Hilton, Jenny Hannah, Denise Dear, Laurice Brown, Audrey Small, Jennifer Alton and Judith Dear, has teamed up with the Montego Bay Community College to share information with needy students.

"We consult with the college to find out the students who are in need, maintain excellent grades but who come from homes that are not able to meet the expenses of college education. We then meet with the student(s), and thereafter we enrol them in our programme," noted the founder.

Making a difference

While the club does not fund the entire tuition costs, it offers students a start by paying for their first term or diploma-level courses.

One of the club's success stories is an orphaned young woman who wanted to attend teachers' college but at age 18 no longer received help from the Government. When the Wise Women Club was contacted by a Child Development Agency officer and informed of the circumstances, it intervened and paid for her second year of tuition.

The club successfully staged a fund-raising cocktail last November at the Club Terrace of Doctor's Cave Beach in Montego Bay and another event earlier this month at the Hilton's property in Westmoreland.