GraceKennedy (GK) Group has announced an investment of over J$64 million in back-to-school support, just ahead of the start of the 2023/2024 academic year.
GraceKennedy’s efforts are being led by the company’s two foundations, the Grace & Staff Community Development Foundation (Grace & Staff) and the GK Foundation (GKF).
This year, the Grace & Staff Foundation has increased the number of students participating in their annual tuition assistance programme from 1333 to 1520. A total of J$34,950,000 has been committed to the programme, which covers tuition support, lunch and travel costs. For the first time, the Foundation has included a grant for 10 special needs students.
Meanwhile the GKF has awarded 90 scholarships to tertiary students at the University of the West Indies (UWI), University of Technology (UTech), Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and the Caribbean Maritime University, valued at J$24 million. GKF also awarded 21 bursaries valued at J$2.1 million through the annual Carlton Alexander Memorial Bursary programme, to children of GK team members.
Commenting on the support being offered by GraceKennedy to students across the island, GK Group CEO Don Wehby said, “Education has the power to transform lives. Over the decades we have seen the tremendously positive effect GK’s educational support has, not only on the student beneficiaries, but also their families. Each year we add more students to our tuition assistance programmes, so the reach is growing.”
He added, “On behalf of the entire GK team, I encourage all our students to continue making excellence their hallmark. We wish them a successful and productive academic year.”
GK subsidiaries have also been offering back-to-school support to their customers and communities they serve. GK Financial Group (GKFG), through its GraceKennedy Money Services/Western Union (GKMS/WU) back-to-school promotion, will be awarding 20 scholarships valued at J$100,000 each and six scholarships valued at J$200,000 each ahead of the new school year. Meanwhile, GK Foods supported two of their brand ambassadors, world renowned Olympic Gold Medallist and World Champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Dancehall Artiste, Ding Dong, with back-to-school fairs in their respective communities, to the tune of J$1.2 million. Coming out of the 2023 staging of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships, GKFG and Grace Foods have also donated J$500,000 to the Hydel Group of Schools to help rebuild their administrative block.