It was a proud moment for some 100 students who were recipients of scholarships presented by the Area Four Police Civic Committee Educational Trust Fund.
Lehana Osbourne from Ardenne High School, who was receiving the scholarship for the fifth time around, was elated to be again named a recipient.
“I feel honoured, because I tried my best to get this scholarship for the fifth time around; and I’m happy, because I have made my mother proud,” she said with pride.
Lehana was among the 100 students who were presented with the scholarships at a ceremony, held at the Police Officers Club in Kingston, recently.
Onyka Barrett Scott, general manager of the JN Foundation, who was the guest speaker at the ceremony, encouraged the students to grasp the opportunities afforded by the scholarship.
“Do you believe that you are special? Yes, you are because not many of us get this opportunity,” she pointed out. “It is a big deal when you were selected to receive this scholarship because it is taking a lot of stress off your parents; as they don’t have to worry about financing your education and can focus on pushing you to excel.”
Mrs Barrett Scott cautioned the students to be focused and continue to work hard; as they concentrate on studying and learning. She underscored that it was important to remember their humble beginnings, as this will keep them grounded.
She also encouraged the parents to support their children, as they embark on this journey by being involved parents. This involvement means that they should check the homework and ensure that assignments are done; that their children are punctual for school; attend parent-teacher meetings; and most of all, being their child’s biggest cheerleader, she stated.
Wayne Wray, chairman of the Area 4 Police Civic Committee, said that the concept behind the establishment of the Trust Fund was to target 12-18-year olds in the inner city, who were deemed to be at risk of dropping out of school and becoming easy prey to criminal elements.
Mr Wray said the Education Trust Fund was a result of a partnership between the police and private sector companies with the primary object to foster good relations and open conversation between the Jamaica Constabulary Force and members of the public in the Corporate Area.
“We often hear about operations to fight crime; but little do we hear about policemen and women who care about our communities so much, that they care about our children,” he said.
Established 19 years ago, the Education Trust Fund has awarded more than 1,200 scholarships to more than 500 students, to assist with their tuition, fees and books at 50 high schools in Kingston and St Andrew.
The following corporate donors: JN Foundation, JN General Insurance Company, KPMG, CGM Gallagher, and Trans-Jamaica Highway Limited among others, made the scholarship ceremony possible.