Several students in Western Jamaica attended a session on the Fulbright-Humphrey scholarship programme, held at the Montego Bay Community College, on May 24.
The event was organized by the Jamaica Fulbright-Humphrey Alumni Association, as part of its ongoing outreach to mentor outstanding high school and university students and to motivate persons to seek opportunities that the programme offers through scholarships to study in graduate programmes in the United Sates.
Psychiatrist, Dr. Wendel Abel, told the participants that the programme is a wonderful opportunity for building self, and to teach them the value of serving country.
He said that once they are accepted and they go abroad and study, they are required to return home and contribute to community building.
“It is a tremendous networking experience, as the programme allows you to meet people from different parts of the world. The process of networking and the exchanging of ideas had a great impact on me, and would change my life,” Dr. Abel said.
“Because of the Humphrey experience and the tremendous skills that I got, I was able to make a fairly good contribution and transform mental health services in Western Jamaica. It was an opportunity that we got to learn new skills and to make an impact on our country and our people,” he added.
Dr. Abel said that when he served as the only psychiatrist at the Cornwall Regional Hospital, in Montego Bay, he relied on the skills gained from the programme to build institutions.
“One of the things that was emphasized through the programme, is service to country is the greatest honour. Having gotten this opportunity for an education, and recognize that service to your country is the greatest honour – that is one of the lessons I learned. I returned home, and I have no regrets,” he said.
Meanwhile, noted Psychosexual Therapist from the United States, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, encouraged the students to learn about sex, to abstain, and to work hard, as they have a wonderful future ahead of them.
“Make sure you ask experienced people questions and you might get contacts that are worthwhile for the rest of your life,” she urged.
For her part, student at the Montego Bay Community College, Chantae Fregenette, said the session gave them guidance.
“Our gratitude goes to the organizers. You have given us an opportunity to taste the possibilities of success. Thank you for your effort to inspire and promote self actualization, and for believing in the preservation of excellence,” she said.
The Fulbright programme is administered through the Public Affairs section of the US Embassy in Kingston.
Contact: Garfield L. Angus