Four students of Jamaican heritage, who are attending colleges and universities in the island and in the United States (US), are the recipients of the 2010 Professor Gordon Shirley Book Scholarship awarded by the Washington DC-based Jamaican Nationals Association (JNA).
They are natural sciences student at Brown’s Town Community College in St. Ann, Prystal Miller, who is the first Jamaica-based recipient; international relations student at The American University, Yanique Campbell; computer engineering student at Howard University, Shamir Saddler; and civil engineering student at Morgan State University, Camille Smith.
President of the JNA, Claudette Henry, made the presentations, valued at US$500 each, at the organisation’s third annual Student’s Reception and Book Scholarship Award ceremony on Saturday (Oct. 23) at the Silver Spring civic building in Maryland.
The JNA President said the award pays tribute to Professor Shirley’s advocacy, commitment and outstanding contribution to the Diaspora and his support for students of Jamaican heritage in their quest to further their education.
Recipients of the 2010 Gordon Shirley Book Scholarship display their certificates at the presentation ceremony held on Saturday (Oct. 23) at the Silver Spring Civic Center in Maryland in the United States. They are: International relations student at The American University, Yanique Campbell (3rd left); Howard University computer engineering student, Shamir Saddler (3rd right); and Morgan State University civil engineering student, Camille Smith (2nd right). Sharing the occasion are: Outgoing Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington, Sharon Miller (left); Chairman of the Jamaican Nationals Association (JNA) Education Committee, Jennifer Asher (2nd left); and JNA President, Claudette Henry (right).
Now principal of the University of the West Indies’ Mona campus, Professor Shirley served as Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States from 2004-2007.
Ms. Henry said that the JNA was “very happy” to extend the scholarship to a student in Jamaica this year, and expressed the hope that more such awards would be made in the future.
Outgoing Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Jamaica, Sharon Miller, lauded the JNA for “this judicious choice in helping students to further their education.”
She said that “as Jamaicans living in the 21st Century and beyond, our survival as a people will depend on trained minds, who would have developed the ability, through education and training, to navigate our world to garner benefits for our society.”
She encouraged the awardees to consider giving back to Jamaica after completing their studies, as the country needed their talents and expertise. “Others will remain here; there is no problem with that. Whatever the choice you have made, there is a place for you in the development of our beloved island home,” she said.
Jamaican oral surgeon based in Washington, Dr. Milton Bernard, who gave the keynote address, said the awardees are shining examples of the country’s potential for greatness.
He encouraged them to set goals and to network with other Jamaicans and Jamaican organisations in the US.
The JNA was launched in 1969 to address the welfare of the Jamaican community in Washington, D.C.