Area Four police committee awards 100 scholarships
ONE hundred high school students from communities across Kingston and St Andrew have been awarded scholarships valued at approximately $1.5 million by the Jamaica Constabulary Force's (JCF) Area Four Police Civic Committee.
The scholarships, for the 2015/16 academic year, were facilitated through the Committee's Education Trust Fund in recognition of creditable academic performances during the 2014/15 school year by the youngsters, who live in communities situated in the five police divisions comprising Area Four.
These are: Kingston Eastern, Central, and Western, and St Andrew Central and South. The scholarships were presented during a recent ceremony at the Police Officers' Club, Hope Road, St Andrew.
Topping the awardees was Immaculate Conception High School's Nicavia Henriques, from Kingston Central, who averaged 88.7 per cent.
Meadowbrook High School's Sanjay Williams, from Kingston Western, was second with 88.3 per cent, with the ICHS pair of Shanice Murray from Kingston Eastern - 83.6 per cent, and Shakera Sullivan from St Andrew South - 78.6 per cent, placing third and fourth, respectively.
Kingston College's (KC) Conrad Dallas, representing St Andrew Central, emerged fifth with 73.9 per cent.
In addition to the scholarships, the five received special presentations for topping their divisions.
Ten of the scholarships were awarded
by CIBC/FirstCaribbean International Bank, whose Managing Director Nigel Holness was the guest speaker at the function.
Holness, who is also president of the Jamaica Bankers' Association (JBA), encouraged the students to maximise the opportunities they have received, pointing out that the scholarships "will help you to get in gear for your journey along the learning curve of life."
He reminded the parents and guardians that they have an "awesome" responsibility in ensuring that their children are properly guided, adding that "you must point them, skilfully, in the right direction (and) encourage them every step of the way."
Chairman of the Area Four Police Civic Committee Ferris Ziadie hailed the partnership forged between the police and private sector stakeholders over the past 20 years, resulting in the scholarship presentations annually.
He said while the communities from which the students originate are often viewed as "rough", the awardees are, nonetheless, among many "success stories" emanating from these areas.
In his remarks, Area Four Commanding Officer and Committee Vice Chairman, Assistant Commissioner George Quallo, hailed the vision of retired Assistant Commissioner Neville Wheatle, who he said piloted the initiative to help youngsters in the communities.
"I am very happy for the support that all of our sponsors have been giving us, because you have enabled us to reach out to far more persons this year than we have even been able to do," ACP Quallo added.
Responding on behalf of the recipients, Wolmer's Girls' School's Alexandria Malcolm, who hails from Kingston Eastern, said she felt "extremely privileged" to have been chosen for a scholarship.
She thanked the sponsors for their "unwavering support," as well as the parents and guardians for their continued support and encouragement.
"We assure you that these scholarships will greatly assist us with our quest to achieve the educational qualifications to become productive citizens, and to make for a brighter future for ourselves and for Jamaica," Alexandria added.
Over 350 students have benefited from the Area Four Police Civic Committee Education Trust Fund scholarships awards since the programme's inception.
The Committee's Assistant Treasurer, Wayne Wray, pointed out that the beneficiaries were selected based on their fulfilment of the education subcommittee's criteria relating to academic performance and school attendance, among other prerequisites.
The programme has been boosted over the past 10 years by increased private sector involvement, notably the Jamaica Bankers' Association (JBA), North St Andrew Rotary Club, and GraceKennedy Limited.
"The overall vision, therefore, is to provide better educational opportunities to the vulnerable children in Area Four, aimed at reducing school dropouts and rewarding good work," Wray said.