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Five high school students of Caribbean descent received tertiary level scholarships from the Caribbean Educators’ Association (CARE), at the fourth annual scholarship banquet on Friday (March 20), at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Palm Beach, Florida, United States of America (USA).
The scholarship recipients are Farah Ali, Laderne Cadeus, Michka Barham, Kimberly Williams and Jhonny Thermidor. They are high school seniors and residents of West Palm Beach communities and will begin studies in the Fall semester, September.
Consul General Sandra Grant Griffiths, congratulated the high achievers. She said they were deserving, as all had maintained high academic grades and were actively involved in extra-curricular activities and community service.
The Consul General told members of the Association that their support was of inestimable value in shaping the lives of the future generation. She said this was evident in CARE’s primary mission of assisting young scholars to take the next step towards the advancement of educational and personal goals.
Mrs. Griffiths told the audience that the contribution of the diaspora should not be measured only by their remittances, but as the symbol of caring that has long been a hallmark of the Jamaican immigrant ethnic group.
She noted that the community associations have demonstrated that their outreach efforts go beyond giving to their homeland, but also to the Caribbean Diaspora. This was reflected in the support from the various medical missions, scholarship programmes and projects resulting from fundraisers.
“For this, the Government and Consulate applaud you,” she added.
Although Jamaican nationals are dominant in the membership of the four-year old organisation, Mrs. Griffiths said that Jamaicans do not feel any more patriotic about their homeland.
She said that in looking at individual national agendas, Caribbean nationals shared common concerns and challenges, provision of services and representations on behalf of very similar immigrant-based constituents. She also reminded them to take pride in the positions they held in their respective communities, as education was the basis for their success.
Referring to developments in education in Jamaica, the Consul General spoke of the Government’s national education initiatives to improve the delivery of education, arising out of the deliberations of the National Planning Summit General Assembly. These included the National Education Inspectorate, which is charged with monitoring quality in schools; the National Parenting Support Commission, which will manage and strengthen the relationship between home and school and the National Education Trust, which is designed to provide sustainable infrastructure for education.
Other developments, she continued, reinforced Government’s firm commitment to the provision of inclusive education, embracing the view that children who learn together, also learn to live together and help foster a cohesive society.
Realising that the vision for education cannot be done by Government alone, the Consul General commended associations for the assistance provided to the various national and local communities.
“We must seek out and take strength from the positive accomplishments of our country and by our people” she added.
In his welcome remarks, the President of CARE, Vivian Gordon, reinforced the commitment of the members, as they remain motivated in their pursuit to help children realise their dreams.
CARE was started in January, 2005, as a network of educators and other professionals offering assistance and support in the field of education. Since its inception, CARE has awarded an additional 18 scholarships to other high achievers of Caribbean-American descent, in the Palm Beach community. CARE members have also adopted the Woodlawn School for Special Education in Mandeville, Manchester, Jamaica.

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