1,800 awarded CJSP scholarships

BY DONNA HUSSEY-WHYTE Career & Education staff reporter husseyd@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, October 03, 2010

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MORE than 1,800 students from 27 volatile inner-city communities in Kingston were recently awarded full academic scholarships by the Ministry of National Security's crime prevention initiative, the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP).


The residents, aged from 18 to 24, received scholarships for tertiary and high school tuition.


In his presentation, Minister of National Security Senator Dwight Nelson said the programme was a model for safer communities.


"The education of people have long been considered the mean of a better society," Nelson said. "We are persuaded and convinced that education provides men and women, old and young, with a better level of life. CSJP is now providing the opportunity to you in these communities that you might never have."


Nelson, speaking at the award ceremony held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, added that education was a valuable way to improve the society. However, he noted that this was not limited only to formal education.


"We have lost touch with the moral values that once existed... (by) which our fathers and mothers and grandfathers and grandmothers lived. Only with such values can we begin to think about starting to change the present society," he said.


Meanwhile Dr Claudia Allen from Trench Town; Randy Anderson from Warieka Hill in Rockfort; and Jahmealla Romance from Fletchers Land attested to the value of the CJSP scholarships they had received.


"It's a very good programme to promote nation building," said Allen, who graduated from the University of the West Indies in 2008 and is presently practising medicine at the Kingston Public Hospital.


She added that she was proud to be the first doctor in her family, noting that it was a dream that could not have been realised without the CJSP scholarship.


"I just want to encourage you to work, work and work some more because your education is what will make a difference," Allen encouraged this year's recipients.


Anderson, who grew up in a single-parent home in Warieka Hill, is currently pursuing his first degree at the Caribbean Maritime Institute. He recalled the days in the volatile community when he was depressed because he could not find employment.


"I was willing to get what the employers required but my parent couldn't afford it," he told the hundreds of students and guests who packed the conference centre. "As a result of CSJP, I am currently in second year perusing my Bachelor of Science in international shipping and logistics," he said proudly.


Romance said she, too, was determined not to be another statistics in teenage pregnancy in Fletchers Land, but was instead determined to make something of herself. This, she said, she was able to do after receiving a full scholarship through the programme to attend St Hugh's High School where she is still a student.


Five special awards were made to Dana Dennis, Anilio Thomas and Monifa Harvey who will be pursuing medicine at the UWI, along with Zoey Curtis and Kaydian Carter, who will be pursuing law.


According to Nelson, studying law and medicine could cost up to two and a half million dollars annually and, therefore, it was an honour to offer these special scholarships to the five students.


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