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  • Nine students from West Kingston, including four university freshmen, will have the cost of their tuition and other school-related expenses paid over the duration of their studies under the inaugural Edward Seaga Scholarship Awards (ESSA).
  • Approximately $3 million has been pumped into the scholarship programme, which was officially launched at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday (September 25).
  • It was established by the West Kingston constituency in recognition of Mr. Seaga’s tremendous contribution to the development of the area and the wider Jamaica.

Nine students from West Kingston, including four university freshmen, will have the cost of their tuition and other school-related expenses paid over the duration of their studies under the inaugural Edward Seaga Scholarship Awards (ESSA).

Approximately $3 million has been pumped into the scholarship programme, which was officially launched at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday (September 25).

It was established by the West Kingston constituency in recognition of Mr. Seaga’s tremendous contribution to the development of the area and the wider Jamaica.

The scholars include outstanding performers in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), Primary Exit Profile, and a student, who is pursuing a level three early childhood course at the Heart Trust/NTA, which Mr. Seaga founded in 1982.

They are expected to maintain a B average yearly, uphold good conduct and participate in community activities across the constituency.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development and Member of Parliament for West Kingston, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, who came up with the idea for the scholarship awards, said Mr. Seaga believed in the value of education and invested a lot in the schooling of children in the constituency.

“He was the first Member of Parliament to introduce in the political system, a programme to support students going back to school,” Mr. McKenzie said, noting that this was done through the annual West Kingston charity ball, which continues today.

“Education is what is going to take many of our children out of poverty,” he said.

President of the Fletcher’s Land Community Development Committee, David Allen, said that a walk/run will be held annually to raise funds for the scholarship.

“The Edward Seaga Scholarship is a new and significant avenue for personal development through education. It’s not just a way of providing financial relief to parents and guardians, but it is also helping the hard working people of this constituency to make their dream for themselves and their families a reality,” he said.

First year medical student at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Jahnoy St. Jacques, who is among the recipients, told JIS News that the award “recognises my accomplishments so far and it is truly an honour to be a part of (Mr. Seaga’s) legacy”.

Anisheka Crosdale, who is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at UWI, said she is elated.

She pledged to give back to the community “because this scholarship would have contributed to my success”.

During the launch, a number of grants, funded under the West Kingston Constituency Development Fund, were awarded to other students from the constituency.

Special awards were also presented to three veteran educators and two longstanding members from the community, who have served as administrators on community boards.

Mr. Seaga, who was the country’s fifth Prime Minister, serving from November 1980 to February 1989, passed away on May 28 on his 89th birthday.

He served as Member of Parliament for West Kingston from 1962 until his retirement from active politics in 2005.

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