Manchester Co-op awards $750,000 in bursaries
BY ALICIA SUTHERLAND Observer staff reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
MANDEVILLE, Manchester — The Manchester Co-operative Credit Union has this year assisted 21 students with their back-to-school expenses through bursaries valued at $750,000, the co-op's leaders say.
The audience at an awards ceremony held recently was told that 15 of the recipients are students who performed creditably in the high school entrance Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).
They are all Treasure Chest Youth Savings Account holders at the Co-op and were given $10,000 each towards their secondary education.
Beloushii Levy, former student of the South Manchester-based Frankfield Primary and Infant and top GSAT student from primary schools in Manchester, was among the awardees.
She is also the recipient of other awards from such organisations as bauxite company JAMALCO, the five-year Aubrey Phillips Scholarship from the Jamaica Teachers' Association, the Principal's Award from Frankfield Primary and Infant School and the Future Achievers International Scholarship out of Canada.
At the tertiary level, the co-op disbursed Sydney Carter bursaries to tertiary students who are either members of the credit union, or are children of members of the Co-op. There are six recipients this year.
Roxanne Campbell and Jheanell Brown of Northern Caribbean University (NCU); and Oshane Palmer, Omoi McKenzie , Brittany Brown and Kimoye Watson of the University of the West Indies (UWI) will each receive $100,000 towards the start or continuation of their studies.
Last year's recipient of the Sydney Carter Scholarship, Roshelle Mendez, will be entering the final year of her nursing degree at the University of the West Indies and is still receiving financial support from the Manchester Co-operative Credit Union.
As such, no new scholarship was awarded this year.
The late Sydney Carter was instrumental in the formation of the co-op, which serves the parish from its head office in Mandeville and a branch in Christiana. A mobile office will reportedly be rolled out soon to fill the void left by the closure of a branch in Porus and to expand the organisation's reach in Manchester.
In the charge at the awards ceremony, which took the form of a luncheon at the Mandeville Hotel, first vice-president of the co-op's board of directors Lesline Thomas said that the organisation was celebrating not only academic achievement but also character.
"It is my sincerest hope that you will live up to your achievements and your God-given talents and abilities. By your example, through your demeanour, your hard work (I hope) you will inspire others to also achieve their own potential," she said.
Thomas told parents and guardians in attendance that children need not be shielded from knowledge of financial challenges. Such knowledge could be their source of motivation to achieve as well as make them more appreciative.
Sydney Carter bursary awardee Brittany Brown, responding on behalf of the recipients, described the timing of the financial support from the Co-op as "perfect".
"...You came into our lives at a time when we really needed it," she said.