IN A celebratory event held at its corporate offices, the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) Foundation yesterday awarded 31 scholarships to students who received excellent passes in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).

Saffrey Brown, general manager of the JNBS Foundation, said that this year, the foundation took over the administration of the JN scholarship programme, which was previously managed by the corporate communications team at the JNBS.

The scholarships were awarded in three categories – GSAT Parish Scholarships, JN School Savers Scholarship, and the JN Employees’ Children Scholarships.

The 31 scholarships bring the total number of awards being given by the building society to 135.

Guest speaker at the awards ceremony, Mariame McIntosh Robinson, founder of Targeting Educational Achievement in Caribbean High Schools (Teach) Caribbean, congratulated JN for continuing to provide access to education for many Jamaican children.

Sharing her personal experiences, McIntosh Robinson explained that she started Teach Caribbean because of a dream to see every Jamaican child having equal access to quality education. Teach Caribbean is an educational non-governmental organisation which engages Rhodes scholars from all over the world to run summer boot camps in English and mathematics for students across Jamaica.

“The ride has just begun and it will only get better … as long as you continue to apply yourself and prioritise your education, you are off to a wonderful start …,” McIntosh Robinson told the scholarship recipients.

She implored the awardees to make the most of their high-school experience and called for more persons and entities to contribute to education.

“While I believe education is a public good, it is imperative for the private sector and us as citizens to do our part in ensuring that we eliminate the under-education of our Jamaican children … and I want to pause and give thanks for the work that JN has been doing in this space. I know this requires both vision and commitment from senior management and then an excellent team to top it off,” she said.

Tajh Simpson, a first-form student who was awarded a place a Munro College, was overjoyed on learning he was awarded a JN scholarship.

“Getting a scholarship means a lot to me because I really worked hard for it and I know that it will encourage me to maintain my grades,” he said.

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