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28 outstanding students among 600 to benefit from fund

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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WITH a 50 per cent increase in funding over last year's $40-million allotment, more than 600 students will this year benefit from NCB Foundation's Scholarship and Grants fund, which stands at $60 million.

These recipients include 28 outstanding students who qualified for this year's premier scholarships, valued at $300,000 per year for the duration of their studies at a locally accredited institution, a release said yesterday.

According to the release, four of the 28 students were also named national champions, receiving an additional $300,000 per year to cover tuition and other related expenses.

This year's 28 scholars were chosen from a pool of more than 10,000 applicants after participating in a rigorous selection process based on academic and community involvement, as well as financial need.

Additionally, hundreds of primary and secondary school students will receive grants and book vouchers valued at up to $20,000, while teachers can access grants of up to $100,000 to pursue additional training.

CEO of NCB Foundation, Nadeen Matthews Blair noted that this year, the scholarship fund will impact even more students, since the foundation is now funded by one per cent of the NCB Financial Group's profits. Previously, the foundation was funded by 0.5 per cent of NCB Jamaica Limited's profits, and 0.5 per cent profits from KeyCard sales.

“The NCB Foundation now gets one per cent of NCB Financial Group's profits each year. Therefore, when you read that the group made $28 billion in profits in 2018, this means that the foundation received $280 million of that. So, the better we perform as an organisation, the greater the resources we have to support brilliant young people like the scholars we're celebrating here,” she said

The 28 scholars, which consisted of 14 parish champions for traditional studies, and 14 champions for emerging fields of study like science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and the creative industries, were invited to Kingston for a two-day event.

The release said the event saw the scholars going through more than five hours of challenges to which they were asked to provide innovative solutions and strategies, even being interviewed personally by chairman of the NCB Financial Group board, Michael Lee Chin.

The 28 students were also surprised with the announcement that they were parish champions, but were advised that they would have to compete for one of the four national champion titles.

Shantae Gordon broke down in tears upon finding out that she was the parish champion for Hanover. She explained that she was teary-eyed because she could finally fulfil her dream of going to school after sitting out a year because of her inability to finance her studies.

“I am eternally grateful to the NCB Foundation. This money will go such a far way in helping me through school and I cannot express how happy I am to have received it,” she said.


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