THE Scotiabank Foundation held its annual award luncheon celebrating the top 15 Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) performers last Wednesday.
The top students along with their parents, teachers and principals were celebrated by the foundation for their hard work and perseverance, which ultimately paid off in them receiving scholarships from the Scotiabank Foundation ranging from $225,000 to $1,435,000 spread over a span of five years.
At the luncheon, which was held at Scotiabank's Corporate Learning Centre in Kingston, the top students and their entourage were treated to a lunch, live entertainment by the comedic duo Ity and Fancy Cat, and words of encouragement and wisdom from both those running and participating in the scholarship programme.
Scotiabank's president and CEO, Bruce Bowen, commended the students for their perseverance and reassured them of Scotia Bank's Support through to the end of high school.
"You have every right to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment, and we are committed to supporting you throughout your high school journey. We believe that investing in education is critical to ensuring that Jamaica achieves the level of development needed to compete successfully in the world today," he said, mentioning that Scotiabank has donated more than $250m to education since 2002.
The 2012 Scotia Scholars also heard from past Scotia scholars, the 1999 Top Boy and top girl, now Dr Daniel Thomas and Dr Shari Tucker respectively, who shared their experiences of being in the scholarship programme with them, as well as words of inspiration to follow them into the next step of their academic journey.
During a segment of the programme entitled "We Are So Proud" parents and teachers got the chance to express to the students how inspired they made them. Willard Thompson father of scholarship winner Shanay Thompson echoed the thoughts of all the parents and teachers present when he looked directly at his little girl and told her proudly "you are MY shining star".
After all words of encouragement and pride were spoken, the scholars finally received their awards. The scholars, who were placed in three categories received their scholarship amount based on that category.
Scholars from the Shining Star Inner-city Schools category will receive $225,000 over five years, and they are: Gavin Rhule of St John's Primary and Jordan Barret of St Aloysius Primary, both going to Campion College, Kevin Sterling of August Town Primary going to Wolmer's School for Boys, O'Neil Samuels of Cockburn Gardens Primary and Junior High going Ardenne High School, Ashley Graham of McAuley Primary going to Wolmer's High School for Girls, A'sha Keise of Balcombe Drive Primary and Junior High going to Ardenne High School, Sashana Riley of Whitfield All-Age going to Merl Grove High School, Juvone Blake of St Andrew Primary going to St George's College, Fayette Howell of White Marl Primary and Junior High going to St Hugh's High School and Derrick Howell of Drews Avenue Primary and Infant going to Mona High School.
Scholars from the Shining Star County category will receive $915,000 over five years, and the are: For Cornwall county, Shanay Thompson of Santa Cruz Preparatory, going to The Hampton School; for Middlesex county, Asia Chung of the United Learning Centre going to Campion College; and from Surrey county Kai-Lin Shen of The Queen's Prep, also going to Campion College.
And scholars from the Shining Star Top Boy and Girl category will receive $1,435,000 over five years, and they are: The Top Boy, Chevaughn Campbell of Vaz Preparatory going to Campion, College and the Top Girl, Catherine Douse of St Catherine Preparatory going to St Jago High School.
All Scotiabank scholarship recipients are expected to maintain a minimum B+ average, participate in community activities and in the Scotia Scholars club to maintain their scholarship.