Monday, 24 October 2016 00:00
GK Foundation Invests $17.5M in Tertiary Education for Jamaica's Youth
A $17.5 million investment by the GraceKennedy Foundation in scholarships and bursaries for over 75 of Jamaica’s young adults will see many of them pursuing their dreams for further education. On October 20, the Foundation held its inaugural Scholars Awards Ceremony to recognize and officially hand over scholarships and bursaries to the scholars for the 2016/17 academic year.
At the awards ceremony, Grace Burnett, CEO of GK Financial Group, spoke of GraceKennedy’s investment in education through its two foundations which she said was aimed at bringing about a change for Jamaica’s future. “All of our scholars are exceptional students with most coming from low income households and would not have been able to afford university education without assistance,” she explained in her remarks. “Education is a very important area of focus for GraceKennedy, which is why our two Foundations, the Grace & Staff Community Development Foundation and the GraceKennedy Foundation invest so heavily in our children. We want to be the game changer- changing the structures in inner city communities, from dons to doctors or engineers or accountants and the many other professions, developing a strong workforce for Jamaica’s future,” she added.
|Raf Diaz Scholar: Raf Diaz, retired GraceKennedy Chairman and CEO, shares encouraging words with Shanike Josephs, a first year accounting student at the University of the West Indies (UWI). Sharing the moment is Caroline Mahfood, Executive Director, GraceKennedy Foundation. Shanike Josephs received the Raf Diaz Scholarship, created in honour of the former Chairman/CEO. As part of GraceKennedy’s 90th anniversary celebrations in 2012 the company established, through the Foundation, two additional tertiary scholarships: The Douglas Orane Scholarship in Science, Technology and Engineering and the Rafael Diaz Scholarship in Business.|
Seven scholarships were presented to first time recipients, while existing scholars, who maintained at least a B average, had their awards renewed.
The prestigious GraceKennedy/Jamaica Scholarship for 2016, tenable at The University of the West Indies (UWI), went to Avaughn Prendergast, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Actuarial Science. A former Head Boy at Charlemont High School in St. Catherine, Avaughn obtained nine grade ones in his CSEC examinations. He completed 12 units of CAPE with 11 grade ones and one grade two. He is passionate about Math and has represented Jamaica at the Math Olympiad in Nicaragua earlier this year. In giving back to his alma mater, Avaughn served as teaching assistant in his school's summer programme.
The Douglas Orane Scholarship (for a student studying Science, Technology or Engineering at the UWI/UTech or NCU) went to Stephan Pitterson, formerly of Campion College. Stephan is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Bio-Chemistry at UWI. He has eight CSEC subjects, with seven grade ones and one grade two. He has eight units of CAPE, including seven grade ones and one grade two.
Former GraceKennedy Chairman and CEO, Raf Diaz, was on hand to present a scholarship, named in his honour, to Shanike Josephs, a first year accounting student at UWI. Her extra-curricular involvements include membership with the Jamaica Automobile Association, United Nations Club, Girls Guides and Interact (VP). Shanike has nine CSEC subjects, eight with grade ones and one grade two. She also completed eight units of CAPE, including seven grade ones and one grade two.
Other scholarships presented include the GraceKennedy/University of Technology Jamaica Scholarship which went to Shanika Spencer; the Edna Manley College Scholarship to School of Drama student Waldane Walker, and the Bruce Rickards Scholarship, specifically for a KC past student, went to Kadeem Campbell and Mark Lewis .
Final year student Withney DaCosta received the GraceKennedy/Caribbean Maritime Institute Bursary. The GraceKennedy Foundation also awarded several other bursaries to students attending UWI, UTech, Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts, and Northern Caribbean University.
The scholarship applications open May 1 to July 15 each year.