Managing Director of the Whitter Group of Companies, Angella Whitter, says her company will be launching a $5-million fund to assist needy tertiary students who have health and financial challenges.
The fund, aptly named The Joe and Angella Whitter Foundation, is also in memory of her late husband who died in 2013 and is remembered as an iconic land developer in the Rose Hall and Ironshore areas of Montego Bay.
“The intention is to create a $5-million fund to assist students from Montego Bay and other communities who have shown the aptitude, ability and good grades at tertiary institutions, but are experiencing financial difficulties,” Mrs. Whitter, who is also a Director at the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told JIS News.
“We will also seek to assist, as best as possible, applicants with comorbidities from illnesses related to kidney, heart and optical diseases… and with medical expenses for surgery or other medical procedures as is deemed necessary by the Foundation,” she added.
The Managing Director said the health component of the fund is of special importance to the Foundation, considering that her late husband suffered from “elements of these health issues at different levels during different stages of his life”.
“The scholarships will be awarded annually during the month of September. They will be for students who live across western Jamaica and is our way of stressing the importance of having a quality education and the Foundation’s unwavering desire to assist the less fortunate,” she said.
Mrs. Whitter said that the students will be studying in the areas of entrepreneurship, business management, construction, architecture and engineering.
“From these areas, the Foundation will look at applications and stories sent in by students yearly and award from a low of $50,000 to a high of $300,000 to each applicant to enable them to continue on a path to success. We strongly believe that the difference between success and failure sometimes boils down to resources and so in our own way, the Joe and Angella Whitter Foundation truly wants to make a difference in the lives of our students,” she told JIS News.
Mrs. Whitter said that her organisation is also cognisant that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it particularly difficult for many families as it relates to tending to their basic needs, and that any form of assistance could go a long way in “alleviating some of the stress”.
For her part, Minister of Education, Youth and Education, Hon. Fayval Williams, said that any support from private entities towards education is very much welcome and fits in line with the Government’s push for more public- and private-sector partnerships.