• JIS News

    Story Highlights

    • Nineteen years ago, a group of friends who happened to be members of the Rotary Club of Montego Bay East, in St. James, began to ride bicycles around the city of Montego Bay, first of all for fun and then for fitness.
    • The practice has blossomed into one of the major fund raising events in western Jamaica, from which millions of dollars have already been raised to fund education.
    • Through the Rotary Club of Montego Bay East’s annual Bike-a-thon, this year scholarships worth $650,000 have been awarded to 10 tertiary and high school students from across the parish of St. James.

    Nineteen years ago, a group of friends who happened to be members of the Rotary Club of Montego Bay East, in St. James, began to ride bicycles around the city of Montego Bay, first of all for fun and then for fitness.

    The practice has blossomed into one of the major fund raising events in western Jamaica, from which millions of dollars have already been raised to fund education.

    Through the Rotary Club of Montego Bay East’s annual Bike-a-thon, this year scholarships worth $650,000 have been awarded to 10 tertiary and high school students from across the parish of St. James. In addition, a major scholarship valued at US$2,000 annually was presented to Paul Walker, a first year Engineering student at the University of Technology (UTech).

    Those who received $100,000 Bike-a-thon scholarships at the recent presentation, include Shantel Mullings, a Pre-University Art Student at the Montego Bay Community College; Britanni Vassell, who is pursuing Computer Studies at UTech; Andrene Hutchinson, a law student at the University of the West Indies; and Crystal Rowe, who is studying accounting at the UWI.

    Vinceroy Salmon of Anchovy High, Akeem Hinds of Cornwall College and Britney Byfield, Shanice Brenford and Sakhile Holtham, all of Mount Alvernia High School, received bursaries of $10,000 each.

    President of the Club, Marcus McKenzie, tells JIS News that the Club is pleased to be able to assist these students in attaining their academic goals.

    “I think we have selected the best group of students to be recipients. There are many students today falling by the wayside…not because they cannot do the work, not because they do not have the ability, but because of funding. At the Rotary Club of Montego Bay East, we are playing a small but I think important role in building the academic capacity of Jamaica,” he says.

    Meanwhile, Past President of the Club, Dale Davis, in presenting the annual US$2,000 Engineering scholarship to Mr. Walker, said the presentation was done based on need.

    “The recipient is truly deserving. He attended the interview process…the short listing process and after being short listed, Mr. Walker was selected and I am sure he will make the Rotary Club of Montego Bay East, and Jamaica very proud,” Mr. Davis said.

    For his part, Senior Lecturer at the Montego Bay Community College, Ruiz Warren, applauded the Rotary Club of Montego Bay East for their efforts in focusing on the education of the nation’s children.

    “Education is liberating and provides an opportunity for social mobility. Teaching people to do is good, but we have to teach people to be. Education is the only way that we are going to transmit the values of honesty and integrity that will help us to live with each other,” he said.

    Mr. Warren argued that a lack of education can lead to violence and other anti-social behaviour, especially among the males in the society.

    “Education is very important because it gives us the skills we need to express ourselves, to share ideas…because if we do not share ideas verbally, most times we share it in an aggressive and physical way,” he added.