The children of 23 GraceKennedy (GK) employees have been awarded bursaries valued at a total of J$2.1 million by the GraceKennedy Foundation (GKF). The recipients received their bursaries in time for the new school year, at the virtual staging of the 31st Carlton Alexander Memorial Bursary Awards ceremony on August 26, 2022.
In her address at the ceremony, Grace Burnett, CEO of GraceKennedy Financial Group (GKFG) and CEO & President of GraceKennedy Money Services (GKMS), encouraged the 2022 recipients to stay committed and work hard, “One of the keys to success is to have grit in the face of adversity. Another is to show yourself some grace, be grateful for what you have achieved, and even when you don’t do as exceptionally as you envisioned, just commit to work harder,” she said.
The Carlton Alexander Memorial Bursaries have been awarded annually since 1990 to children of GK employees attending secondary and tertiary institutions. The bursaries are named for the late GK Chairman and CEO, Dr. the Hon. S. Carlton Alexander, OJ and are highly competitive. Candidates are judged on several criteria including their academic performance, participation in extra-curricular activities, and leadership potential.
“The legacy that Carlton has left is truly noteworthy, and we are honoured to celebrate him in this way each year. Carlton Alexander was an inspirational leader who had a vested interest in his staff. He always insisted on excellence,” said Mrs. Burnett.
Mrs. Burnett made special mention of 2022 bursary recipient Petajhay Shelly in her remarks. Petajhay is studying medicine at The University of the West Indies (UWI) and finished the academic year with an exceptional 3.88 Grade Point Average (GPA).
Michael Johnson, a former Carlton Alexander Bursary recipient, was guest speaker at the ceremony, and offered his advice to the 2022 recipients, reminding them that they were each unique. He urged them not to forget the qualities which made each of them special, “God placed something in each of you of value that the world is yet to see. Ask yourself what things God has placed inside of you that you have yet to bring forth to the world,” he said.
The bursaries are renewed annually once recipients maintain a high academic performance. Secondary students up to Grade 11 each receive bursaries valued at J$65,000, sixth form students receive J$90,000 each, and tertiary level awardees receive J$150,000 each.