GraceKennedy Group - GK Foundation Scholarship Programme Introduces Volunteer Component
Wednesday, 24 October 2018 17:28

GK Foundation Scholarship Programme Introduces Volunteer Component

GraceKennedy Foundation has added a service component to its scholarship programme that is aimed at contributing to Jamaica’s development. This was announced by Senator Don Wehby, Group CEO, GraceKennedy Limited (GKL), who addressed the Foundation’s Scholars Awards Ceremony held at The University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus, on October 18, 2018.

Speaking to GraceKennedy’s focus on nation building through education, Mr Wehby said, “If every child is given the right opportunity, where ever you are from, once you apply yourself, you will do well.  That is why I believe very strongly that every Jamaican is entitled to a good education.” 

2018 GraceKennedy Foundation Scholars pose with Dr. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, OD (front row, second right), Senator Don Wehby, Group CEO, GraceKennedy

He announced that as a part of GraceKennedy’s efforts to support students in a multifaceted way at the tertiary level, the GraceKennedy Foundation would partner with Grace Foods, other companies within Corporate Jamaica and the Guild of Undergraduate Students to open a Food Bank at the UWI Mona Campus.  This would address one of the critical issues affecting some tertiary level students, particularly those from the lower socio-economic groupings. These university students are often hard-pressed to eat healthy nutritious meals as any financial assistance they may receive is usually geared towards covering tuition, books and other educational-related expenses. 

Once it becomes operational, the Food Bank will serve as a collection point for food donated by participating companies within Corporate Jamaica, the Food Bank will then redistribute this donation to needy students.  The GraceKennedy Scholars, along with other UWI students, will voluntarily man the Food Bank.

GK Foods Ambassador, Dr. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, OD, receives her token of appreciation from Senator Don Wehby, Group CEO, GraceKennedy Ltd.

Mr Wehby pointed out that the scholars would also participate in the newly-established Student Ambassador Programme known as GK Campus Connect.  Through the Programme, the scholarship recipients would serve as Campus Ambassadors for GraceKennedy brands including Grace Foods, First Global Bank (FGB), GK Insurance, GK Money Services and Hi-Lo Food Stores.  The campus Ambassadors will receive training in project planning and implementation. They will also gain hands-on experience in business processes, marketing and sales. This exposure will help to develop the students’ soft skills including leadership, time management, communication and problem-solving, while building their self-confidence and inter-personal relationships.

Executive Director of GraceKennedy Foundation, Caroline Mahfood, explained that service was ingrained in the culture of GraceKennedy Group. She added that the Foundation wanted the scholarship programme to have more than a monetary impact on the recipients, hence the introduction of the two initiatives. 

“We want to ensure that our scholars make a lasting impact in their various fields of study and so we saw it fit to ensure that they’re involved in giving back to their communities. In doing so, we give them the requisite help to become the well-rounded students who will shape the country’s future,” said Mrs Mahfood.

GraceKennedy Foundation Scholars celebrate their achievments at the end of the ceremony.

The present cohort of 89 scholars would volunteer a minimum of 30 hours this academic year assisting with these two initiatives.

The Foundation presented named and merit scholarships to 39 first time recipients and renewed those of 50 students who remained eligible for awards. Over the past five years, the Foundation has spent over $90m on scholarships tenable at The University of the West Indies, The University of Technology Jamaica, the Caribbean Maritime University and the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts.