The Canadian-based Future Achievers International has recognised three Jamaican students for their high academic achievement and involvement in community activities.
They are: student of the Hampton School in St. Elizabeth, Whitney Wallace; Head Boy at the Negril All-age School in Westmoreland Najay Gayle, who will be attending the Manning’s School in the parish in September; and grade five student at Negril All-age, Kwayne Bennett.
At a function held during the staging of the 5th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, where the Jamaican chapter of the group was also officially launched, the students were awarded with scholarships awards and lauded for their outstanding work.
Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, who was on hand, commended the students. He urged them to continue to do well at school and contribute to their communities.
The Education Minister also hailed the work of Future Achievers International, founded by Jamaican Canada-based, Professor Cynthia Bled, and her husband Yves.
“It shows the best of intentions of members of the Diaspora to uplift education in Jamaica, one student at a time, sometimes one school at a time, and this represents the best of all that we have been trying to say at the Diaspora conference,” he stated.
Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Sheila Sealy-Monteith, who made the presentations, said the scholarship awards “is another example of tangible support from the Diaspora to the education system in Jamaica”.
She informed that the award facility provides support for students from primary school through to the tertiary level, where they stand to receive CDN$2,000.
“So that is a wonderful incentive for them to continue to perform well, to continue to perform at a high academic level, to contribute to their community, and just to become better citizens,” she stated.
Expressing gratitude to Future Achievers, scholarship awardee, Najay Gayle, said he hopes to motivate other students to strive for success.
“Hard work always pays off, and you will succeed if you try. Thanks to my mother and my teachers, and my father, for helping me along the way, and supporting me. Thanks also to Future Achievers for giving me this award,” he stated.
Guidance Counsellor at the Negril All-age School, Gloria Gilpin, also thanked Future Achievers for recognising the students. “I know that they will continue to do well,” she said.
Future Leaders International, which has branches in Kenya, Jamaica and Canada, provides support for young role models, who exemplify academic excellence and community involvement, to inspire both their elders and peers.
It is funded through generous donations by the Bleds, and is seeking private, corporate and institutional support to expand its youth outreach.
By Garfield Angus, JIS Regional Office Montego Bay