JWN Foundation to share $17m among 275 students

Career & Education

JWN Foundation to share $17m among 275 students

Sunday, September 08, 2019

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WITH individual awards ranging in value from $25,000 at the secondary level to $450,000 at the tertiary level, J Wray & Nephew (JWN) Foundation has pledged to award 275 students in communities in proximity to its operations at Appleton Estate in St Elizabeth, New Yarmouth Estate in Clarendon, and its Spanish Town Road manufacturing hub in Kingston with over $17 million this year.

Children of JWN staff members and dependent children registered during the 2018 closure of Holland & Casa Marantha Estates are among those selected.

The awards are scheduled to be made this Thursday, September 12 at Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston.

“This year, we are awarding seven full scholarships: three Master Blender Scholarships for STEM students valued at $450,000 each; two Maritime and Logistics Scholarships, valued at $400,000 each, and two Excellence in Education Awards, [also] valued at $400,000 each,” foundation chair Clement “Jimmy” Lawrence explained.

“In addition to these, 25 regular awards valued at $200,000 each [are] allocated at the tertiary level; and 95 valued at $25,000 each at the secondary level,” he continued.

Seventy-nine awards are earmarked for children of employees — 59 at the secondary level and 20 for study at local universities. The remaining 68 are allocated for registered children of former staff members of the Holland & Casa Marantha Estates. At the time of the separation exercise, the JWN Foundation pledged support to ensure the dependents of affected parties were able to complete their studies up to high school.

The 2019 allocation of bursaries to the community brings JWN within closing distance of the 200 community scholarships by 2021, which it promised in 2016 when it presented the revamped scholarship programme under the newly operationalised JWN Foundation.

Last year, 103 scholarships were issued, a near doubling of the 65 granted in 2017.

“We are convinced that there is an inextricable link between how educated our people are and the development of Jamaica. Indeed, this view is supported by several studies that have confirmed the causative link between the levels of education in a country and its economic development,” Lawrence said.

Reania Francis, who received a scholarship last year to study medicine at The University of the West Indies (The UWI), said no praises were too big for what she described as the JWN Foundation family.

“The scholarship allowed me to go to school without having a financial burden,” she told the Jamaica Observer. “It really transformed my life and allowed me to concentrate…It has allowed me the privilege of not having to resort to student loan.”

Francis also revealed a stunner. She said she has been advised of another JWN award for this school year, but has turned it down because she has got another opportunity elsewhere.

“I politely declined the offer so someone else can benefit,” she noted. “The foundation has done a lot for me and so I wanted someone else who needs the assistance to benefit.”

Lawrence said there have been similar situations to Francis' where repeat scholarship recipients have declined to take up offers so others who are less fortunate can be accommodated.

In the meantime, Rickardo Anderson, who will be graduating from The UWI with a first-class honours degree in medical physics and a minor in economics said, “The JWN Foundation should be commended for being a great corporate citizen and also for its role in building leaders for the future.”

Like Francis, he noted that the scholarship has made his journey through school easier.

“It was a very long road but indeed I am proud,” he told Career & Education. “Education is the key to everything and the JWN Foundation must be commended for what they are doing.”

As a condition of the scholarships, tertiary students are required to give a minimum of 72 hours of voluntary service in their communities and are encouraged to participate in JWN Foundation's career readiness and personal development training programmes.

In the four years since it has become operationalised, the foundation has awarded 800 scholarships totalling $48.2 million.

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