Do you believe in miracles? Well, I do. Being a recipient of the Douglas Orane Bursary provided by the GraceKennedy Foundation was truly a blessing. After a very rigorous process of applying for numerous scholarships…I got my miracle. The Douglas Orane Bursary provided by the GraceKennedy Foundation is of significant importance to me because it has helped me to overcome my financial challenges in semester one as well as to remove the pressure and tense atmosphere that surrounded me. I was able to finance my second semester accommodation fees as well as purchase a few books. I am now able to just focus on my courses without worrying about any financial burden. The GraceKennedy Foundation recognizes hardworking students who have a zeal for success and who are also in need of financial assistance. The GraceKennedy Foundation has also motivated me to continue working hard and remain focus on my aspiration of becoming a Biochemist. I am one step closer to achieving my goal of improving the quality of my family’s life as well as contributing to the country’s economic status.
I am eternally grateful to The GraceKennedy foundation for providing assistance through the Douglas Orane scholarship…It was truly a blessing.
Tashanna J. Walker, President, University of the West Indies Geographical Society
The receipt of this bursary from the GraceKennedy Foundation has played an essential role in aiding the attainment of my academic goals. Without the generosity of the Foundation, my academic pursuits would have halted prematurely; as the bursary was granted upon commencement of my final year of study at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. This final year bursary could not have come at a more opportune time, as I begin to conclude this phase of my academic journey. I am extremely grateful to the committee and the Foundation at large for helping me, and my fellow awardees, fulfill our academic aspirations. Although not immediately, the positive ripple effects of your generosity will definitely bear fruit in the near future and will no doubt help in the advancement of this great country of Jamaica.
The high tuition costs and few means of financing teritary education have made the thought of obtaining a college education very discouraging. By obtaining a bursary from the GraceKennedy Foundation I have been able to fulfill my financial obligations as well as to develop the confidence and determination which are so important for success at the tertiary level. The GraceKennedy Foundation has always expressed a genuine interest in education and has assisted me once again to fulfill my dream of attaining a degree. Thank you GraceKennedy Foundation!
A former student of Kingston College, I’m currently enrolled in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies, Mona. The tuition for Medicine is rather exorbitant, a whopping 2.8 million dollars. However, being amongst the many to receive the government subsidy eased some of the burden, as I knew 80% of my tuition would be covered. This was sadly not enough to compensate the funding. I’m glad to say that this bursary eased the burden on my parents and sister with all that had occurred during the past year and as such I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to the GraceKennedy Foundation for selecting me as one of the recipients. I urge you all to apply for this bursary and sensitize your friends especially those who have financial problems to do likewise.
Corey I. Lindner
At the beginning of my final year of The UWI, how my tuition would be financed was a major concern for both me and my family. However, the fact that I had already completed two years of my three year degree programme was enough motivation for me to do all that I could in order to finish what I started. In so doing, I applied for over 30 scholarships and bursaries and reached out to over 50 companies in corporate Jamaica via telephone calls, emails or letters asking for help. I ran out of options, as everything that I thought of I did, and everything I came across that I was eligible for had applied for. I worked tirelessly, sacrificing many nights and days of sleep and relaxation and suffered a few breakdowns to improve my Grade Point Average, remain active in my extra-curricular activities and maintain a sense of balance in my life. At the end of it all, my tuition was fully covered with help from the GraceKennedy Foundation. I received one of the Foundation’s final year bursaries, which sought to ensure that my dreams of completing my first degree was not deferred. I am eternally grateful to have them invest in my academic journey, and I continue to work hard, even harder, to demonstrate how appreciative I am for this generous offer. I want to appeal to you that’s reading this to never give up on your life or dreams. You have the chance to be something great and with consistency, hard work and a positive attitude your dreams are bound to come to fruition and flourish more than you had expected. Stay strong, believe in your abilities and trust The Most High- you’ll make it someday, some how.
Kedeisha Isaacs, Final Year Student, UWI-Western Jamaica Campus
I am Kedeisha Isaacs, a very privileged and proud recipient of the GraceKennedy Foundation bursary. GraceKennedy came into my life at a time I needed them the most. Therefore, I am truly honored and will never hesitate to speak volumes of such a noble organization that continues to show a sincere interest in the upliftment of the youth, particularly through education. With the bursary I received I was able to pay my tuition and enjoy far more peace of mind knowing that I was financially covered. There is nothing greater than knowing that you are closer to fulfilling your dreams and that is how I felt after I received the GraceKennedy Foundation bursary, many steps closer to my dreams.
Despite all the academic achievements throughout high school and early college life, I had never been a recipient of scholarships, bursaries or grants applied for, despite all attempts at numerous opportunities. Indeed, I began to see myself as the unlucky statistic, the one who achieves much but rewarded little.
Entering my final year, I saw my mountain of an obstacle be transformed into a molehill, through the GK Foundation’s intervention. With their assistance, I was able to tend to all the financial difficulties that were upon me.
Assistance came when I needed it the most, and it goes to show that nothing happens before it’s time. Hard work, sooner or later, gives its rewards. It is up to individuals to be “stick-to-it-tive”.
Kerrijoe Malcholm (Awardee)
Often times my dreams of obtaining success appears as if that’s all they will be, a dream. I pray for the strength to be persistent in all endeavours because feelings of hopelessness, weariness and even occasional failures, though sometimes inevitable, are merely symptoms of the great things to come. My hard work was recognized and the GraceKennedy Foundation gave me the hand I needed to start my journey in my pursuit of tertiary education. This bursary has not only given me an opportunity to further my studies but it has also given peace of mind and hope.
‘When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it’ and ‘be prepared to have patience in difficult times and know the universe is conspiring in our favor, even though we may not understand how’. Through hunger, lack of surety and the seemingly ominous, these quotes of Paulo Coelho were resonant in my mind. We all have the want, but to be patient we have to be perseverant. A quality often presented to us as being elusive-for the disciplined and the strong. Yet, it simply starts with the power of perception: when a seemingly unfavourable event occurs, we have the choice of perceiving that event as being either a misfortune, a lesson or as an opportunity. It is by always asking ‘Can I learn from this?’ or ‘Can I turn this into an opportunity?’ that I was able to persevere. In return, despite the odds, the universe conspired in my favour, and the assistance by the GraceKennedy Foundation is a manifestation of that. Thank you GraceKennedy!
The GraceKennedy Foundation bursary has been beneficial to me in so many ways. First and foremost, after completing my second year at the University of Technology, I did not know where to turn or who to turn to because my father who was the breadwinner in the family had lost his job and my mother was already unemployed. The situation caused a ripple effect in that my father was one of my guarantors for a Student Loan in second year and losing his job meant that he could no longer stand as guarantor. After making multiple attempts in trying to find someone to replace him, my efforts proved futile as not many persons want to stand the risk of repaying a loan for a student if he/she is unable to. Even as my frustration grew with each passing day, I refused to give up. In the summer of the same year (2012) I then applied for all the scholarships and bursaries that were applicable to my year and faculty and I prayed that God would make a way for me and he did. In addition to bursaries from other companies, the GraceKennedy Foundation made it possible for me to complete my third year at University and before I even started my second semester of final year in which I am currently in, my entire tuition was already covered as the company assisted me with a bursary to pay the remaining balance that I could not find. All I could say is that God is really good! Words cannot describe how much I am thankful for the assistance from GraceKennedy as they made it possible for me to reach thus far. In addition to receiving bursaries from the Foundation for two consecutive years, I also received a book grant in my second year which I am still using to purchase school supplies including text books which I could not have otherwise afforded. Hard work and determination are indeed the ingredients to success and it does not matter what one is going through; once there is a will, there will always be a way.
Grace Kennedy Foundation for Educational Advancement
I am a proud and grateful recipient of a bursary from the GraceKennedy Foundation. This bursary has allowed me to sit my examinations and in so doing prevent me from paying for the courses twice. Most importantly, I was able to focus on studying for my examinations and not be burdened and preoccupied in finding ways and means to pay my tuition, leaving little room to study for examinations.
To prospective recipients I leave you with this equation;
Faith in God + Hardwork and Determination + GK Foundation = SUCCESS
It is with great enthusiasm that I write this letter which will outline how my life has been transformed through the receipt of a GraceKennedy Foundation bursary. Having completed high school with the help of my parents who worked tirelessly in order for me and my other siblings to get a good education, I saw the need to get a tertiary education. As such, after leaving sixth form I applied to the University of Technology, Jamaica. However, when I received the letter of acceptance, though filled with joy I was somewhat saddened since I had no source of funding and I knew that there was no way that my parents would be able to help me. As a result of this lack of finances I decided to work for two years before applying again to the University. With a step of faith I took out a Student Loan in order to pay for my tuition and so having received my second letter of acceptance I was able to start my tertiary education.
Having completed my first year with the help of SLB, I was now in a situation where it’s possible that I would no longer be able to continue my education. This was owing to the fact that one of my guarantors stopped working and as such I would not be able to get a loan from the Student Loan Bureau for the next semester. Since, I was unable to find another guarantor it was almost certain that I would have had to take a leave from school as I had no other source of funding. This however, was where I was truly blessed by God. Having done The GraceKennedy Foundation Scholarship interview, I got a call that would change my life. I was awarded with a bursary from the GK Foundation sufficient to cover most of my tuition. Through hard work and God’s blessing I was awarded with a second bursary from the foundation this year which again gives me the hope of completing my education.
Receiving bursaries from the GraceKennedy Foundation has done more for me than just to pay my tuition. These bursaries are tremendous blessings that will be a part of me forever. My entire career goals are now possible because of the kindness of those who are a part of the foundation. The Foundation has motivated me to work assiduously in order to complete my degree with first class honors. Furthermore, because of the GK Foundation I am motivated not only to work hard and try to find that ‘dream job’ but also to always remember that I can play my part in the development of this country by giving back or helping someone in need.
In closing, I just want to let someone know that life may never be smooth sailing but if we put our trust in God, He will always be there for us. Never let your current situations dictate the way you perceive or approach life. Always be willing to try and work hard for with God by your side you will achieve greatness!!!
I couldn’t finish this ‘letter’ without saying a special thanks to Mrs. Mahfood, Prof. Leo-Rhynie and Mrs. Fagan. These amazing ladies are magnificent individuals that I will never forget. Your kindness goes far beyond the call of duty and I will always respect and thank you.
To the GraceKennedy Foundation I say thank you for you have been a true blessing in my life!!
Alexander Thomas – Lee
When I applied for the Carlton Alexander Scholarship in the summer of 2013 I was acutely aware of the fact that I was up against some stiff competition from my colleagues.
I was very honoured to have received a bursary to facilitate my first year of my engineering degree at the University of Technology from the
GraceKennedy Foundation. I would like to assure the Foundation that this bursary was received by not only myself, but also my family. In my single parent home my mother and my three sisters celebrated this as a family accomplishment. The funding alleviated financial tension in our home and permitted for me to focus solely on my education.
I must admit that the first semester of University was quite challenging. There were many distractions and one can get overwhelmed by the freedom. I was forced to make decisions that challenged my popularity with the “in crowd” but these decisions were necessary for my long term future. And, in the end quite unsolicited, I was being looked at as the “in crowd”. This made me realize that I was the master of my own destiny and my journey was dependent on me and my decisions.
I have learnt that with all privileges comes huge responsibility, and therefore urge future aspiring scholars to make the best of all educational opportunities.
This morning I was reflecting on how grateful I am for the assistance that the GraceKennedy Foundation has provided me with. I completed last semester without worries and thanks be to God I only owe $4000 something on my tuition. Last semester was stressful but not as the one before because I had less things to worry about.
Getting this award showed me that no matter how many obstacles a person may face through life, there is always a break through point. I applied for the Raf Diaz Scholarship and yes I was turned down. But I was determined that I was going back to school and that’s the point when I replied to the email requesting for some form of assistance. My friends told me they wouldn’t do it because they were afraid of getting turned down, but I stood upright and went ahead and wrote the letter. When I got a call from you my heart was racing and I couldn’t be much happier when you awarded the bursary to me. My education plays a major part in my life and thanks to your Foundation, it’s the first time I have been through school comfortable, not going to say it was hassle free but this time I didn’t not have to think about finding all my tuition along with lunch and transportation money. Thanks again Ms Caroline Mahfood and your team. I am truly grateful for the assistance. Keep up the good work!
Nicholas Renford, Student at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding,” Proverbs 3:5. It was because I believed that with God all things are possible why I decided to chase my dream and develop my talent in the arts. With the help of Grace Kennedy I was given the opportunity to continue my studies and for that I am extremely grateful. An opportunity like this must not be taken for granted as this act of kindness not only helps financially, but motivates one to progress in their area of study, continue to excel and set new goals in terms of achievements. As a college student it is not easy to focus at school when you are uncertain how your tuition will be paid. With the financial help I received, my mind was at ease, especially after seeing how my parents strive to make a better life for me. They both are in full support of who I am and who I want to be, and are truly grateful and happy for me. Thank you Grace, for your assistance and I am certain that I can say for everyone who you have helped that it is greatly appreciated. Through music, I aspire to give back to my country just as how Grace has reached out and helped. Not for publicity, nor to please self, but to ensure that one less person loses faith, and one more person embraces their dream. Once again, thank you Grace Kennedy.
Rocquel Brown, Graduate of the University of Technology
I feel very privileged to have received the financial support of the GraceKennedy Foundation in assisting me in my educational pursuit, a journey that might not have materialized if not for them. This allowed me the opportunity to focus my energy on excelling in school and not the financial hardship. I am incredibly honoured to not only be a GraceKennedy Foundation Scholarship recipient but also a GraceKennedy Limited Intern. Special thanks to Mrs Mahfood and her Foundation team and UTech’s Student Services.