If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started
— Marcus Garvey
THIS is the mantra that has given 20-year-old Aeisha Edwards the courage to hurdle every obstacle that presents itself in her life. One of those obstacles was financial in nature, but that didn't stop the proud recipient of a $350,000 scholarship. In fact, it fuelled her determination not to be hindered by her financial constraints.
Currently a student of the University of the West Indies, Mona, Edwards was the proud recipient of the Lorrell Bruce Scholarship from the Jamaica Co-Operative Credit Union League. She was officially awarded at the Jamaica Co-Operative Credit Union League's bursary awards function held at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in Kingston on August 29, 2012.
This function, where opposition leader, Andrew Holness, acted as guest speaker, was held in celebration of the credit union's 70th anniversary.
"I was ecstatic and I considered myself fortunate and appreciative of being a recipient of the Lorrell Bruce Scholarship. I did not expect to receive the scholarship because it was well publicised and I knew that there would be a lot of applicants," the future accountant shared.
"I was badly in need of this scholarship because of my parent's economical and financial position. Those factors were my motivation and drive for me to do well in my degree programme so I would be eligible for a scholarship."
Edwards, who hails from the Greater Portmore community, is a past student of the St Andrew High School for Girls where she received nine Caribbean Secondary Examination Council (CSEC) subjects and four Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) subjects in Units 1 and 2.
Although she has constantly been an overachiever, she has struggled financially, being from a single parent household, where her mother is the sole provider.
"My inspiration comes from my mother and family members who always encourage me to continue to do my best at all times and let me know that only the best is good enough," the student, whose cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) impressively stands at 3.4 ,told TEENage. "I believe that with hard work and dedication you can achieve anything."
Edwards, who described herself as "dedicated, ambitious and exemplary", plans to obtain a post-graduate degree in accounting and then complete the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) or Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
"In life may come challenges but with hard work, dedication and putting God first, you can achieve anything," Edwards advised fellow university students. "Maintain good grades and have faith in God. Remember that all things are possible through Christ."