MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Two secondary school students are among this year's beneficiaries of the Manchester Co-operative Credit Union's (MCCU) Sydney Carter Bursary, valued at $250,000. They are Racardo Rowe of Knox High School and Melesia Jones of Manchester High.
Michael Gottshalk, Marketing Manager at the Credit Union told the Jamaica Observer Central that the two benefitted based on special circumstances since the bursary awards are traditionally made to primary school students.
Other beneficiaries of the bursary are: Shantel Chisholm and Latoya Rose, who are pursuing undergraduate degrees in computer science at Church Teachers' College; Kirk Wilson, University of Technology student completing a Bachelor of Science in computer programming; Shantoy King, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in radiology at the University of the West Indies; and Davia Dwyer, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in nursing at Northern Caribbean University.
A total of 21 students received financial support from the MCCU this year. Thirteen of them, who excelled at the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) and who are also current holders of a Treasure Chest Youth Savings Account with the Credit Union, received $130,000 in grants.
Treasure Chest Youth Savings Account member Damel Swaby, formerly of Porus Primary, and who is now attending Manchester High, was selected by the MCCU to receive $25,000 from the Jamaica Credit Union League (JCCUL) for his exemplary approach to savings.
Gottshalk said he was a consistent and impressive saver.
The annual Sydney Carter Scholarship was not awarded this year, as last year's recipient Khori Anderson, now a final year international relations student at the University of the West Indies, is still receiving financial assistance from the credit union.
Alfred Daley, Chairman of the Marketing and Education Committee at the MCCU said that the organisation had made an "absolute statement of commitment to the future of Jamaica". He said that there was no better way of creating wealth than through education.
"I have seen failure because of ignorance and success because of information. We must continually search for reasons to succeed. We will be following you through the period because we want to know how you are doing," he said.
MCCU president Dr Paul Gardner told the students and parents who gathered at the Mandeville Hotel that there were many sides to education and that the credit union, through its token, had partially contributed to the process.
He told the parents that they should pay attention to what is happening to their children. Particularly for the GSAT students, he said that it was important that parents focus on their socialisation.
"Know who your child or ward's friends are. Make sure you stay close to your child. Your bright child can be derailed because of company. Make sure your child's teacher knows who you are. The teacher will know you have a vested interest, therefore they are more accountable to you," Gardner said.
He encouraged the students not to waste their time at school, as they will not only be squandering their parents' money but also the money that the MCCU has invested in them.
"Do not give up, continue to try, continue to excel in all aspects of your education," the president urged.