Courts awards 60 Dare to Dream scholarships

Courts awards 60 Dare to Dream scholarships

Saturday, August 24, 2019

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Courts Jamaica last week awarded 60 scholarships to customers or their dependents, in recognition of its 60th anniversary celebrations.

The 2019 recipients were announced in an awards ceremony held at Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew. They were selected from a pool of more than 500 applications across the country.

For the past eight years, Courts Jamaica, a brand of Unicomer Jamaica, has awarded secondary and post-secondary scholarships to customers and their children, who find it financially challenging to fulfil their educational pursuits. Recipients are selected based on their unique personal and family dynamics. Additionally, their school and community activities, as well as academic record, and a statement of educational and career goals are assessed.

The company said that through its Dare to Dream Scholarship Program, it supports customers and their children as they work towards personal and professional goals.

“I cannot tell you how great it is to see so many of our valued customers and their children for such an auspicious occasion,” Unicomer Managing Director Dennis Harris said in his opening remarks. “We're celebrating the Big 60, our diamond anniversary, and we decided to match tradition by awarding 60 scholarships to match the number of years of our anniversary, as opposed to the 48 we normally do.”

Added Harris: “Today is certainly one of my favourite days of the year because there is nothing that makes me happier than giving out scholarships, and these scholarships are particularly near and dear to my heart because they underscore the solid commitment our company has made to building a longer and stronger academic pipeline in Jamaica, across the region, and around the world. When it comes to education, schools are truly the backbone of the Jamaican dream and represent opportunity for all to develop the requisite model for purpose-driven lives.”

In her very moving message, guest speaker and graduate intern at Unicomer Jamaica Limited, Asha Kay Thompson, challenged recipients to “dare to dream, even when you are not in the ideal environment; even when everything seems to be falling apart; even when you are not being treated fairly; even when no one believes in your dreams and even when it seems that's all it is — a dream”.

“You see, too often we focus on the struggles and not the lessons to be learnt. Too often we see challenges as setbacks, not realising that they are an indication that greatness lies ahead. The conditions that do not seem favourable now will seem like pots of gold as you grow older. You won't always walk out on streets of gold, sometimes you'll have to put on yuh water boot. And it's not because God wants you to sink, He wants to prepare you for the challenges ahead,” Thompson said.

Thompson was awarded a full tertiary scholarship by Courts Jamaica in 2015 and was the first recipient to graduate from The University of the West Indies, having successfully completed her degree programme. She has since gone on to become a graduate intern at Unicomer Jamaica, where she will move through the various departments over an 18-month period.

The Courts Customer Scholarship Programme application process opens in June and closes in the first week of July annually. Eligible individuals may apply for the following scholarships: Tertiary — six grants valued at $250,000 each and four full scholarships valued at $400,000 each (for the duration of studies) for people pursuing their bachelor's degree at any recognised institution in Jamaica; Primary Exit Profile — 28 awards valued at $100,000 each, being awarded to students who have taken and successfully passed the Primary Exit Profile; and Skills Training — 10 awards valued at $50,000 each for people who are enrolled in any HEART Trust/NTA institution.

This year 12 university bursaries valued at $100,000 were added to observe the 60th anniversary celebrations at the company.

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