Eight Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) students, whose parents are employed to the Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, were awarded education grants totaling $120,000 on August 8, 2012.
The award programme, now in its fifth year, is made possible through the efforts of the National Workers’ Union (NWU) Women’s Committee based at the hospital, and Member of Parliament for West Central St. James, Lloyd B. Smith. Each student received $15,000.
Congratulating the awardees, President of the NWU Women’s Committee, Princess Lee, noted the importance of quality education to development.
"The level of education provided by any community, local or national, determines to a great extent, the level of development that takes place in that community because education is the real architect or cornerstone of development … we need to be our brother’s keeper and be willing to reach out and give a helping hand … we are helping you to start, but only you can run the race ahead,” she said.
In her address, Administrator of the Psychiatric Department at the hospital, Georgia Rose, urged the students to make the best of their educational opportunities.
“Students, it’s very important that you all understand that no matter where you have been placed, you can become the best thing that you were meant to be … the high school is not that important, it is what you make of it and sometimes, you have to go to the high school that is not a big name so that you can blossom. So, wherever you are planted or placed, make the best of it,” she said.
She made a call for parents to love, nurture and encourage their children and to appreciate them for the path they have chosen, “as long as it’s right and honest”.
She also urged them to serve as good role models for their children. “If your children don’t see you working for the bread that you eat, they will not know that they should work for their daily bread … If we do not stand for principles, if we do not instill morals and values, they will not demonstrate those moral and values,” she said.
Over the five-year lifespan of the grant programme, a total of 26 students have been assisted to attain their educational goals.