Four students of Jamaican heritage attending universities in the United States are the recipients of this year’s Claude McKay Book Scholarship Awards.
They are Shalonda Dale of Towson University in Maryland; Brandon Williams, Brown’s College in Minnesota; Jerome Blake, Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland; and Kimberly Murray of Lincoln University, in Pennsylvania.
The awards were presented on June 6, at the 21st Anniversary celebrations and annual Scholarship Awards Banquet of the Jamaica Association of Maryland (JAM), held at the Best Western Hotel, in Baltimore.
Making the presentation, President of JAM, Rick Nugent, said that the scholarships are made in honor of Jamaica’s outstanding poet, Claude McKay. He pointed out that all four awardees achieved a grade point average above 3.0. Each book grant is valued at US$500.
Mr. Nugent disclosed that over the past 18 years, JAM has awarded scholarships at a value of approximately US$40,000. It is the association’s goal to increase the number of recipients from four to six by next year.
He explained that over the past 21 years, JAM has worked to unite Jamaican nationals to support various projects in Jamaica, and to assist in promoting and maintaining educational, cultural and social links between Jamaica and Maryland.
Morgan State University Professor, Dr. Richard Kitson-Walters, delivers the keynote address at the Jamaica Association of Maryland (JAM) 21st anniversary celebration and annual scholarship awards banquet, on June 6, at the Best Western Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.
In her remarks, delegate of the Maryland House of Assembly and a founding member of JAM, Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, lauded the association for 21 years of outstanding service to the state of Maryland.
“Over the past 21 years, JAM has continued to highlight Jamaica,” she said, noting that the organised trade and cultural exchanges between Jamaica and Maryland have been beneficial.
Mrs. Nathan-Pulliam encouraged Jamaicans living in the state of Maryland, to get involved in the organisation.
Delivering the keynote address, Morgan State University Professor, Dr. Richard Kitson-Walters, congratulated JAM for 21 years of outstanding contribution to the state of Maryland and Jamaica. He urged the organisation to turn its attention to young Jamaican nationals living in the Maryland region.
Dr. Kitson-Walters challenged JAM to explore establishing a mentoring programme as well as to begin encouraging young Jamaicans to get more involved in the running of the organisation, in order to ensure continuity and growth.
Community Service Awards were presented to D’Borah Horne, Ericca Blake, Dennis Stewart and Terrence Mayne, while the Presidential Award went to Pam Honeyghan.