JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Courts Jamaica’s scholarship award recipients are expressing gratitude for the assistance, noting that it will ease the financial burden on their parents.
  • Olivia, who is pursuing a degree in Construction Technology with a minor in Electrical Technology, says the award will enable her to pursue of dream of becoming an architect.
  • Shajoe Lake, who will be pursuing a degree in law at the University of the West Indies beginning in September, told JIS News that receiving the scholarship is a “great feeling.”

Courts Jamaica’s scholarship award recipients are expressing gratitude for the assistance, noting that it will ease the financial burden on their parents.

Fifty-five students, who will be attending secondary and tertiary institutions in September, have been awarded scholarships by the furniture store chain valued at more than $6 million. They were chosen after a competitive selection process, which involved some 3,000 applicants.

Twenty-nine scholarships, each worth $100,000, went to students, who received high grades in this year’s Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT). Six students, who will pursue skills training at HEART Trust/NTA’s academies, were awarded $50,000 each, while 20 tertiary level students, received $150,000 each.

At the award ceremony held at the Knutsford Court Hotel on Friday (August 29), third year student at the University of Technology (UTech), Olivia Smith, said she is overjoyed.

“I wasn’t sure I would get it as I wasn’t sure how well I did in the interview. It is a relief as only part of my school fee was paid for this semester. My mother is very happy seeing that the burden will not be on her shoulders,” she told JIS News.

Olivia, who is pursuing a degree in Construction Technology with a minor in Electrical Technology, says the award will enable her to pursue of dream of becoming an architect.

“I find the construction industry really interesting, but I am more focused on the designing aspect where in the long run I might become an architect. I would like to be able to design a house, be able to construct it and oversee the management of it,” she said.

Shajoe Lake, who will be pursuing a degree in law at the University of the West Indies beginning in September, told JIS News that receiving the scholarship is a “great feeling.”

“It is really a great honour and it feels as if somebody is there to encourage me. I feel that there is a task for me to do and the scholarship has afforded me the opportunity to pursue it,” he says.

Janelle Mullings, who will be attending St. Hilda’s High School, also expressed gratitude.

“I am very overjoyed hearing that I will be receiving a scholarship. It will also help (my parents) in buying some of my books or pay the school fee,” she states.

In his remarks, Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites congratulated Courts and other corporate entities that have come forward to assist students this year.

“What Courts is doing and what others are doing at this time not only displays a great deal of generosity and corporate responsibility, but it also is good business,” he stated.

He also encouraged the recipients to use the opportunity afforded to them to do well in school. “There are no shortcuts; there is no bussing of some tunes that is going to make you rich and prosperous… English and mathematics and a good education come first; those are fundamental things,” Rev. Thwaites noted.

For his part, Managing Director for Courts Jamaica Limited, Dennis Harris, said that the scholarship programme is now in its fourth year, with the company having provided close to 300 students with financial assistance to pursue their education.

He encouraged the recipients to dream big, have a goal, and work towards it.

“So, I say, never stop dreaming or let anyone tell you that you cannot become this or you can never achieve that. The only person, who can define your future is you and your future depends on how hard you are willing to work to achieve it,” Mr. Harris stated.

He further encouraged the recipients to think about their future and how they can positively impact the society.

“I would like you to consider how you can help the less fortunate and to consider what you can do to improve our country. Let us be inspired by you,” Mr. Harris added.

Motivational speaker Dr. Raphael Thomas, who was the guest speaker at the function, encouraged the recipients to have a vision of where they want to go in life.

“The better you are able to define your vision, the better your position to work towards it. If you do not know where you are going, you will not know when you get there or if you miss it,” he pointed out.

Over the past 30 years, Courts has provided over $100 million in assistance to students through its various social programmes.