JAMAICA National Building Society (JNBS) has awarded five-year scholarships to 13 children of employees in the JN Group, based on the students' performance in the 2012 Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT). The awards were among the 35 presented at a scholarship reception, held recently at the organisation's Half-Way-Tree branch in St Andrew.
The students were challenged by Earl Jarrett, JN general manager, to set high standards and set their sights on uplifting themselves and those around them. "Some of us have gotten into the habit of saying 'we are not good enough', and I say to you GSAT students that, you can be as good as you want to be."
The students qualified for the scholarships based on passing grades of more than 85 per cent in the GSAT examinations; and represented employees working at all levels in the JN Group.
"High school will be more demanding than primary and prep school," guest speaker, Lisa Hanna, minister of Youth and Culture, told the JN scholarship winners. "It will require greater effort, more discipline, more reading, more studying." And she implored the students to balance work and play.
Iandru Lodge, a former Naggo Head Primary School student, who is now attending St Catherine High School, and hopes to become a lawyer, said that he was looking forward to doing the high school subjects.
His mother, Judith Drummond, a field officer with JN Small Business Loans Limited (JNSBL), said that Lodge participated in almost all the activities that were at his primary school, including the choir and drama club.
Sanaa Smith, who plans to become a doctor, and who is now attending Herbert Morrison Technical High School from St James Preparatory School, asserted that her preparations leading up to GSAT were not difficult, as she studied consistently; and reviewed past examination test papers.
She received consistent assistance from her mother, Shaunette Campbell, a teller at the JNBS Montego Bay branch. "I ensured that she studied and assisted her with past papers. I would take her from the home setting to the park on Sundays, so that she could feel comfortable while studying," Campbell said.
Amanda Dixon, formerly of Emanuel Christian Academy, secured her place at the St Hugh's High School; and she subsequently transferred to the Immaculate Conception High School, in St Andrew.
Her mother, Aldene Hall Dixon, operations supervisor at the JNBS Duke Street Branch, assisted Amanda in her GSAT preparation by ensuring that her homework was completed. "I also made certain that she spent more time on subject areas which she appeared to be weak in. I acquired GSAT past papers and urged her visit the GO GSAT website on weekends," she added.
Amanda plans to be a forensic scientist; and is looking forward to a focus on the sciences. "I would like to learn netball, swimming, sign language, modern languages and chess," she added.
The other successful JN Group employees children, who received scholarships at the September 9 presentation were: Liam Bernard, Jason Lewis, Enrico Hall, Ashley-Renae Gregory, Kofi Nightingale, Olivia Rhone, Pascale Gordon, Paul Scott, Shantay Parkins, and Malika Ricketts.
Pam Thompson, senior manager, ePMO at Jamaica National, who chaired the function, advised parents that, "We are confident that our intervention to support students; and with the skills and knowledge that they acquire throughout their secondary and tertiary education, our young people will be adequately equipped to become outstanding citizens."