AT the start of the new academic year this September 65 students will access scholarships from Scotiabank.
The scholarships were officially handed over last Tuesday at the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Shining Star Excellence Scholars and Jamaica 50 Bursary Awardees ceremony at the company's corporate office in downtown, Kingston.
The students, 15 GSAT scholars and 50 special bursaries in celebration of Jamaica's 50th anniversary of Independence, will access funds totalling $16m.
Joylene Griffith-Irving, director of corporate social responsibility at Scotiabank and executive director of ScotiaFoundation, said that the bursaries were a way to respond to numerous requests for assistance.
"Over the last few years we've been collecting the requests of the individuals, which we could not meet immediately. Those requests are the pool from which these bursary recipients were chosen," she said.
The director of the bank's charitable arm, ScotiaFoundation revealed that the plan was to open the bursaries only to tertiary students, but the need from those at the secondary level was so great that 10 of the 50 scholarships were awarded in that category.
The GSAT Top Boy Chevaughn Campbell and Top Girl Catherine Douse will both receive $1.435 million over seven years. The top county performers Shanay Thompson for Cornwall, Asia Chung for Middlesex, and Kai-Lin Shen for Surrey will receive $915,000 over five years, while 10 Shining Star — Innercity scholarship will receieve $225,000 over five years.
They were: A'sha Keise, Ashley Graham, Derrick Howell, Fayette Howell, Gavin Rhule, Jordan Bennett, Juvone Blake, Kevin Sterling, Oniel Samuels and Sashana Riley.
The 65 scholarships form part of the bank's thrust to contribute to education and the arts.
"It's always a pleasure to reward and assist the students who work so hard and show their best," Bruce Bowen, president and CEO of Scotiabank, told TEENage after the ceremony.
The bank has dispersed scholarships to GSAT students since the introduction of the exam in 1999.
As well as the 50 special bursary for Jamaica 50, the bank will also celebrate cultural pride, self-direction and entrepreneurship in its 39 branches islandwide from July 30 to August 3.
"We will provide exposure for small and medium exterprises, particularly who produce Jamaican items, by hosting 50 business persons in various branches. Joining them will be five young entrepreneurs from York Castle, Glenmuir, Immaculate and St Jago high schools, who excelled in the Junior Achievement Company of Jamaica's Entrepreneurs programme," Bowen said, who is also executive chairman of Junior Achievement Jamaica.