...GG's SOS — Summer of Service competition

...GG's SOS — Summer of Service competition

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

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GOVERNOR GENERAL Sir Patrick Allen last week launched a Summer of Service (SOS) competition under the umbrella of his "I Believe Initiative (IBI)", hoping to increase volunteerism among youth, while offering them an opportunity to pursue academic goals.

The competition, which will run from June 1 to August 16, is open to final year CAPE students and first year university students who wish to pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Social Sciences or Natural Sciences.

Sir Patrick stated his firm belief that the majority of Jamaica's youth wanted to play a part in improving their country by using their talent and time to enhance the quality of life of the most vulnerable in society. He said the Summer of Service competition would challenge students to be part of "what is right with Jamaica", by engaging them in volunteerism over the summer holidays with charitable and non-government organisations.

"It is also our hope that the competition will not only increase the act of volunteerism but also establish a cadre of young volunteers, not only for contribution to the enhancement of our society, but also because of the positive impact of volunteerism on character building," Sir Patrick said.

The governor general expressed gratitude to the three universities which will provide the scholarships for SOS winners. He also thanked the service clubs, religious, community and non-governmental organisations that have partnered with the 'I Believe' Initiative to make the competition a reality.

Those organisations have accepted the charge to host, support, mentor and supervise volunteers for the duration of the competition. He issued an appeal for other NGOs, charitable organisations and religious institutions which have not yet joined the initiative, to make themselves available to accommodate volunteers who wish to participate in the competition.

To enter, students must complete an application form which should be downloaded from the IBI website at ibelieveinitiative.org/ and must be submitted by May 31, along with proof of application to any of the participating universities. Participants are required to dedicate two-and-a-half months of their summer holidays to a charitable or non-governmental organisation or create their own charitable project. The report on their selected project must be supported by certification from a designated supervisor.

Deadline for submission of project reports is August 19, 2013, after which a panel of judges will determine the winning entries.

There will be six prizes as follows:

First: two three-year scholarships inclusive of maintenance stipend, tenable at the University of the West Indies (Mona)

Second: two one-year tuition scholarships, tenable at the University of Technology and the Northern Caribbean University.

Third: two educational material grants valued at $50,000 each from Kingston Bookshop and the 'I Believe' Initiative.

In 2011 Governor General Sir Patrick Allen launched his 'I Believe Initiative' to encourage Jamaicans to aspire for excellence in the belief that "there is nothing wrong with Jamaica that cannot be fixed by what is right with Jamaica". Since then, several projects have been successfully undertaken by the 'I Believe Initiative'.

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