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A total of 175 tertiary students from at-risk communities in western Jamaica have been awarded scholarships valued at $19 million by the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) in the Ministry of National Security.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, made the presentations at a ceremony held on Thursday (November 22) at the West Jamaica Conference of Seventh Day Adventists Centre in Mount Salem, St. James.

The scholarship award, which is in its fifth year, provides tuition support to address joblessness and lack of employability in the volatile inner city communities in which the CSJP operates.

“This programme is one of several planks in what we hope is a holistic crime prevention strategy,” the Minister said.

“I firmly believe that education provides a means by which the employability prospects of residents in volatile communities can be boosted.  This assistance being offered can go a far way in empowering our youth to contribute more effectively and meaningfully to community development,” he added. 

“This is a substantial investment that the taxpayers of this country are making in the future of our youths,” he said, while expressing the hope that “each and every beneficiary will be a catalyst for positive change within the communities that you all have come from.”