Cherine gives back

Cherine gives back

Cecelia Campbell-Livingston

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

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SINGER Cherine Anderson has joined the many popular personalities who have established charities with her Reach One Child (ROC) Jamaica.

ROC Jamaica is currently fielding applications for high-achieving grade-six students.

"ROC scholarships are open to grade-six students from the 14 parishes in Jamaica. The scholarships provide supplementary support for motivated grade-six students who show potential for academic excellence," she said.

According to Anderson, there is not a specific dollar amount per scholarship as each student has different financial needs. However, it is intended to cover part to full tuition and school supplies. Scholarship recipients are notified in the first week of July.

The songstress says the foundation, was formed in 2004 initally out of a desire to lend support to victims of Hurricane Ivan.

"At that time, I was a student at Middlebury College in Vermont. I learned that the music room of my alma mater, Excelsior Primary, was damaged by the hurricane. About the same time, my mother was in touch with one of the directors at St Ann's Infirmary who informed her that the residents had to be relocated when the infirmary became flooded," she said.

According to Anderson, she wanted to help and organised a benefit concert on her school's campus.

"I received enthusiastic support and with the help of many volunteers, we were able to put on a successful concert, which allowed us, in a small way to assist with the recovery efforts of both Excelsior and St Ann's Infirmary," she said.

Encouraged by that success, she said her manager Patrick Lindsay and herself decided more could be done and established the foundation later that year.

For Anderson, the biggest challenge is meeting the needs of all the students.

"It is sometimes difficult to carry out all the programmes we have in mind, as we see a great need in our schools and communities. However, we remain committed and have been tackling the problems one by one," she said.

Another foundation initiative is a mentorship programme, the ROC School Tour. This project sees ROC members travelling to schools islandwide to give talks.

In balancing her music career and other projects, Anderson said she has been working to expand her reach and brand.

"The reception to my music now is greater than it has ever been. I can see the growth and diversity in the music through the increase in the number of people who are now following the dancehall soul movement," she said.

Her current songs include Eagles and Doves, Haffi Come Back and How We Living.

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