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  • Youth and Culture Minister, Hon. Lisa Hanna, has lauded the outstanding performances of 55 students who are in, or have transitioned out of State care during the 2014/15 academic year.
  • The Minister also lauded public and private sector stakeholders who have supported the students.
  • She congratulated the youngsters on their performance, as well as officers at the CDA who work closely with the children.

Youth and Culture Minister, Hon. Lisa Hanna, has lauded the outstanding performances of 55 students who are in, or have transitioned out of State care during the 2014/15 academic year.

The youngsters recorded notable results in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE), securing between four and 17 subjects in both external tests.

The students, who currently attend secondary and tertiary institutions in Jamaica and overseas, were rewarded for their academic exploits during an awards ceremony, jointly hosted by the Ministry and the Child Development Agency (CDA), at the Terra Nova Hotel, St. Andrew, on  November 24.

Speaking at the function, Ms. Hanna said the occasion was one where the youngsters could “step out graciously and boldly,” and declare that their “future is bright.”

“You can say to the rest of the country that you will continue to shine, because you are going forth to pursue your educational opportunities, knowing that with education, all things are possible,” she said.

The Minister also lauded public and private sector stakeholders who have supported the students.

“I say thank you, and continue being the wind beneath their wings,” Ms. Hanna said, while urging that they continue to provide the level of support that will enable the youngsters “to be greater than they are today.”

Wishing the awardees success in their endeavours, Ms. Hanna assured that “you can always count on the Ministry and its agencies for advice and assistance.”

For her part, the CDA’s Chief Executive Officer, Rosalee Gage-Grey, said the students’ accomplishments “are a source of encouragement” for the Ministry, the agency and its officers, as well as their caregivers, “to persevere in what we are doing.”

She pointed out that the CDA spent about $20 million on the education of children in State care last year, pointing out that “we are proud that our investment in your future is beginning to bear much fruit.”

“When children come into our care, we strive to provide the services that they need to succeed. This means meeting their educational, health care, nutritional,  psychosocial and other needs,” Mrs. Gage-Grey  said.

She congratulated the youngsters on their performance, as well as officers at the CDA who work closely with the children.

Meanwhile, Facilitator at the Ministry of National Security, Keron Grant, a former ward of the State, also lauded the awardees on the “effort you have put in to ensure that you are securing a future for yourselves.”

Mr. Grant said the number of youngsters being honoured this year is indicative of the fact that wards of the State “continue to excel” as high academic achievers.

The students were presented with prizes, inclusive of cash, laptops, and gift baskets.