Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has lauded the philanthropic work of the RuJohn Foundation, which targets the social upliftment of Jamaica’s youth.
The Foundation was established 10 years ago in honour of Ruth and John Tulloch, the Jamaican grandparents of the Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Bachelor and President, Christina Bachelor. Its mission is to provide the necessary educational tools for rural and inner-city schools throughout Jamaica and select U.S. cities, and stresses the importance of hard work and perseverance through athletics
Over the years it has provided scholarships and staged athletic celebrity sports camp for students, especially in western Jamaica and now Kingston. Additionally, the Foundation has provided school supplies, athletic gear, computer equipment and funding for educational programmes.
Mrs. Simpson Miller, who was addressing the Awards Banquet of the Foundation at the Knutsford Court Hotel on June 23, applauded the sincerity and steadfast commitment of the Foundation in staging the annual camps and ceremonies, which have been inspiring young people in and around Kingston and Montego Bay.
“Any contribution to the youth of the country is a contribution to the development of the country; and any contribution to education is a contribution to the present and future of the country, Mrs. Simpson Miller said.
She welcomed and thanked the many sports stars, actors and actresses who are participating in this year’s staging of the celebrity camps.
The event saw some 25 students and schools being awarded scholarships, cash, computers, sporting equipment and school furniture valuing millions of dollars.
The top prize of the evening was the Simpson Miller Award presented to Miltonia Thompson, who received $500,000 and a mini iPad. Other awardees included: Paul Jerome Jackson and Sheena Campbell who copped the Bachelor Award worth $300,000 each and mini iPads; and Oleaq Richards, Shadai Miller and Louisa Anna Taylor, who received scholarships worth $150,000 each and mini iPads.
The award for outstanding leadership in and out of school was presented to Joel Nomdarkham of Kingston College, who received $320,000 and a plaque. The youngster was stunned by the cash award which was only revealed on the night, and expressed his appreciation.
“It’s really an amazing feeling to be here (on stage). All my life I have been helping people and to know that I am blessed in such a way is truly amazing. I am most appreciative of this award,” he said.
Five other students received the RuJohn Foundation award of $20,000 each and lap top computers to assist in their studies at college. They are: Decodia Miller, Herbert Morrison Technical; Javanni Waugh, Kingston College; Sherdeana Brooks and Devonie Bernard of Rusea’s High; and Lij tau Thompson of Manning’s High School.
Kingston College received a donation of US$2,000, presented by Byron Bachelor, a Director of the Foundation who attended the school.
Some 13 other schools received furniture, sporting equipment and other gifts which were presented by several sports and television celebrities who are part of this year’s camp. Among the schools benefitting are: Whitfield Town All Age; Bridgeport High; Rusea’s High; Calabar High; Manning’s High; Waterford High; Copper Basic School; Mt. Nebo School; Excelsior High; Runaway Bay Heart Academy; Herbert Morrison High; Hope Fellowship and Spanish Town High.
Among those attending the evening’s ceremony were: Jamaica’s Ambassador to the US, Stephen Vascianne; television stars, Raven Symone, Lance Gross, Robert Ri’chard, Jussie Smollett, Lamorne Morris, and Iman Crosson; model, Camille McDonald; American football stars, Darius Butler and Leonard Weaver; NBA players, Andray Blatche and John Salmon; and dancer, Amanda Robinson, among many others.
Contact: Andrea Braham