Burger King serves up $4M in scholarships
Jamaican fast food giant Burger King has awarded over $4 million in scholarships, grants and bursaries to 25 students from across the island.
The annual awards ceremony, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel on Thursday, saw Chavel Ford of St Andrew High School for Girls and Jelani Atkinson of St George’s College, copping the Lois Sherwood and Rodwell Lake Scholarships, each valued at $900,000. Both students are on their way to The University of the West Indies (UWI).
Secondary school awardees were Tajani Scott who heads to Campion College, Zahara Williams who has earned a place at Immaculate Conception High, Brianna Smellie who is off to Glenmuir High, and Chestani Tulloch who is heading Ardenne High.
Jevaughn Bonnick of Kellits Primary School was named the Valda Ormsby Scholar for 2016. He heads to Clarendon College come September. A special education grant and 15 book grants were also presented.
Guest speaker, Sherona Forrester, the 2016 Jamaican Rhodes Scholar, shared tips for excelling at high school and university with the awardees and urged them to dream big, work hard and never allow their personal circumstances to stifle their progress and aspirations.
"Set your plans, ensure you have a balance of play time and study time and be good ambassadors for yourselves, your parents and guardians, your communities, and Burger King," she said before singing
There’s a Winner Inside You.
In his remarks at the ceremony, Ruel Reid, minister of education, youth & information, praised Restaurant Associates Limited which operates Burger King, for its "generosity, philanthropy and benevolence".
The minister said that each year a number of "deserving high school students qualify to go to university but due to their economic circumstances cannot".
Declaring that "there should be no stumbling block to education", he told the awardees "you should value the role being played by Restaurant Associates Limited and Burger King in taking the baton from your parents and giving you the opportunity to continue to excel."
Nordia Bromfield, guidance counsellor, St Andrew High School for Girls, said that the Burger King scholarship should be regarded as a "hand up" and not a "handout".
"This is something that should empower, motivate and help you to succeed in life. Use this jumpstart wisely", she advised.
Ricardo Brooks, sponsorship manager at Burger King, says the annual scholarship awards ceremony is just another example of Burger King’s long-standing commitment to youth empowerment and national development.
"If you chart the 30-year history of Burger King in Jamaica, you’re going to find that the brand has always been associated with projects and initiatives which are geared towards empowering our young people to think beyond limits and dream big. Whether it is through debating, swimming, schoolboy football or this very scholarship programme, we are always going to be at the fore of working to ensure that as many young people in Jamaica as possible are empowered to unlock their full potential," he said.