KALIA Gordon, 18, has long dreamt of becoming a language and literacy lecturer. Thanks to Courts Jamaica, she's a step closer to reaching her goal.
Gordon, who has faced financial challenges in pursuit of higher education since leaving high school, was among the 50 youths awarded a Courts Customers' Scholarship at the Knutsford Court Hotel last Thursday.
"Right now I am elated because truly I didn't know how I was going back to school come September," the Charlemont High School past student told Career & Education. "I didn't know how I was going to get to college, but God has really sent Courts just in time and I am very thankful."
Thirty-two scholarships, each worth $100,000, went to students who passed this year's Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT). Seven — value at $50,000 each — went to students who will pursue skills training at HEART Trust/NTA, while the remaining 11 — valued at $150,000 — went to tertiary students.
"Courts has a long legacy of community involvement. We are doing things to grow and improve our country and this is a part of it. We give to sports, education, health and so we came up with this idea last year to give back to our customers' children who want to go on and improve their education," said Courts' managing director Dennis Harris. "We have really talented and educated children who need the funding to support them in going forward."
He added that the investment is a worthwhile endeavour and charged the students to continue to strive for excellence and to make themselves and their country proud.
Senator Sandrea Falconer, minister with responsibility for information in the Office of the Prime Minister, lauded the company for its efforts, noting that education and training form a critical part of the foundation on which any great nation is built.
At the same time, she said Jamaica has made significant progress in education over the last 50 years.
"Back in 1962, seven out of every 10 Jamaicans were illiterate and could not read and write, but today that situation shows a complete reverse. Eight out of every 10 Jamaicans can read and write, but we are not there yet. We would like it to be 10 of every 10 Jamaicans who can read and write," Falconer said.