AIM Higher Foundation officially launched

Sunday, May 06, 2018

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ALTHOUGH the AIM Higher Foundation has been in existence for four years, its official launch was held at St Andrew High School last Wednesday.

The foundation is the charity arm of AIM Educational Services, which offers students assistance with the necessary preparation needed to study overseas.

AIM's conceptualiser Nicole McLaren-Campbell said the launch was necessary because there is a great number of students islandwide who need financial assistance to get a tertiary education, and they need to be aware of the foundation and what it has to offer.

“We decided to launch officially because there are not only so many kids in need, but there are so many people who want to help,” she told Career & Education, adding that there are people who reach out to her via social media.

“I want to use it (social media) more, but if people don't know about the foundation and what we do, the kids can't find us and the people who want to connect with those kids can't find us either. So there was the need to have the launch.”

This year, the educator said her foundation will focus on identifying more low-income students who, “have the dream but not the means, and we will really put them through a college preparatory process”.

“What we are starting to do this year is to mentor them through to college. They need to also be mentoring other students, because giving back is something we want to ingrain in all of our scholars. We are connecting locally now. AIM Educational Services deals with overseas; AIM Foundation is for students studying locally and abroad.”

A part of the local connection includes recruiting local companies and individuals to contribute to the students' hopes and dreams of transitioning from secondary to tertiary education. Also on the agenda are plans to extend the services to more low-income students who reside outside of the Corporate Area.

“The foundation is open to everyone and we have a mailing list that includes guidance counsellors from [all over]. But more targeted outreach is definitely necessary,” McLaren-Campbell said.

Meanwhile, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green, lauded the AIM Foundation for its efforts in helping youths achieve their dreams.

He said the world is changing and tertiary education is a requirement for most jobs, even the ones that did not require it before. He openly invited the foundation to partner with him in hosting workshops outside of Kingston.

Since its inception, AIM has assisted students in accessing over $100 million in scholarships to pursue studies overseas.

This year's scholars, Jahnoy St Jacques and Shantae Shand, will start their first degrees at the University of the West Indies Medical School and Lafayette College in the United States, respectively. Shand has acquired a scholarship for US$300,000. However, the funds for St Jacques are not yet available.

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