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Story Highlights

  • Six former wards of the State have been awarded tertiary-level scholarships totalling US$22,500 by diaspora charity Children of Jamaica Outreach Inc. (COJO).
  • These scholarship recipients are Gold-Mae Bullock, who received US$5,000, while cheques for US$3,500 each were presented to Chantell Campbell, Shantanna Dixon, Aaron Rowe, Kareem Carr, and Nickorta Samuels.
  • In offering words of encouragement, the Minister told the youngsters that he too received a tertiary-level scholarship, which, he believes, helped him to become the successful person he is today.

Six former wards of the State have been awarded tertiary-level scholarships totalling US$22,500 by diaspora charity Children of Jamaica Outreach Inc. (COJO).

The presentations were made on Wednesday (September 13) during a luncheon held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

These scholarship recipients are Gold-Mae Bullock, who received US$5,000, while cheques for US$3,500 each were presented to Chantell Campbell, Shantanna Dixon, Aaron Rowe, Kareem Carr, and Nickorta Samuels.

Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, applauded the youngsters on their outstanding academic performance, which enabled them to qualify for the scholarships.

In offering words of encouragement, the Minister told the youngsters that he too received a tertiary-level scholarship, which, he believes, helped him to become the successful person he is today.

“When I look back at my own journey, I was less fortunate. My mother was a simple housewife and my father was a farmer, but he got a job at Appleton Estate for many years. Indeed, I would not have been able to attend university, had it not been for the scholarship offered then,” he reminisced.

“Many persons who come out of less-privileged circumstances would not have been able to attain university education had it not been for (such assistance),” he noted further.

He urged the youngsters not to be daunted by their circumstances. “God, somehow, has placed you in this situation to build up your own character. It doesn’t matter where we are coming from. It’s where we are going and have an ambition and a passion to be the best that we can become,” he said.

The Education Minister expressed gratitude to Chairman/Founder of the New York-based charity, Gary Williams, noting that the contribution will enrich the lives of the recipients.

Opposition Spokesperson on Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna, who was in attendance, commended COJO for its support to children in State care over the years.

“I saw where you gave US$5,000 last year, and it bought a fridge, a computer, a washing machine, speakers and other things for Windsor Lodge Children’s Home. Today, you are offering six scholarships, and I want to say to the young people receiving them, use it and make it a small step to a lifetime worth of greater achievements. Being a child of the State, whether you are in foster care, children’s home or place of safety, it is a unique opportunity to make yourselves stronger. Now, on your résumé, you are a scholarship recipient. Now, that’s a big deal,” she noted.

Mr. Williams said he remains committed to giving back to Jamaica.

“Today, I stand before you very humbled by the hands that raise up COJO, so that we, in turn, can raise up the former wards of the State to achieve their dreams of tertiary education. I must admit that some of our proudest moments relate to seeing Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master’s and even PhD, behind the names of some of the wards of State that we have provided tertiary scholarships for,” he said.

Gold-Mae Bullock, a second-year student of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, is pursuing a Bachelor of Science with a major in accounting.

Chantell Campbell is a second-year student at Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College pursuing a degree in secondary education and specialising in Spanish and English, while Shantanna Dixon has been accepted by the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in accounting.

Aaron Rowe, a second-year student at the International University of the Caribbean, is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology, specialising in construction engineering.

Kareem Carr, a student of Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Management, and Nickorta Samuels is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Management Studies at UWI.

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