NCU scholarship recipient gives back to Hanover Charities

BY ANTHONY LEWIS Observer writer

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

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HOPEWELL, Hanover — TWENTY-one-year-old Danika Cummings, a second-year nursing student at the Northern Caribbean University, notes that the not-for-profit organisation Hanover Charities, which has been assisting with her schooling over the past year, is paving the way for her to land a job in the health sector.

"Words cannot express how grateful I am. I am a second-year student and this is my second time receiving an award from Hanover Charities, and it has been a blessing. It has made my career path more visible," Cummings says.

"I am not from a rich background. But, I am one of the few students who say success is a must and we have to push. They [Hanover Charities] have opened that way for me... they have made possibilities for me, and for that I am grateful."

Cummings was among the more than 100 individuals, institutions and organisations in Hanover who recently received grants and scholarships valued at approximately $25 million from the charitable group during a presentation ceremony held at the Round Hill Hotel in the parish.

The scholarships and grants were made possible through the Sugar Cane Ball, an annual fund-raising event staged by the Hanover Charities.

Chairperson of Hanover Charities, Katrin Casserly, said she is overwhelmed by the support the organisation had received this year from the Sugar Cane Ball, noting that a record $30 million was raised.

Meanwhile, during the recently held presentation ceremony, Cummings, who is a past student of Rusea's High School in Hanover, received thunderous applause from the gathering when she made a monetary contribution to Hanover Charities.

"We are all scholarship recipients, so I just decided to give something. That is my small thank you until I can do bigger and better. So, I gave a monetary contribution, as well as a thank you card to the Hanover Charities programme," Cummings told the Jamaica Observer West, after the presentation ceremony.

"Even though the money is small, it was given with generosity. I gave a $1,000. That's what I could find. Maybe it is not enough to give to a university student, but maybe a primary school student or somebody; it can make a difference for them in one way."

She challenged other scholarships and grants recipients to remember the benefits they received from Hanover Charities, as she urged them to make their contributions to the organisation as soon as they are able to.

"I really implore students, scholarship recipients to never forget... bring back your money to Hanover Charities to help some students," said Cummings.

It was a similar view expressed by Education Minister Rev Ronald Thwaites and the Custos Rotolorum of Hanover David Stair during their remarks at the ceremony, as they congratulated the recipients and encouraged individuals to give back to their communities.

Custos Stair argued that the funds handed out "were made possible by strangers who felt compelled to
assist those in need," as
he encouraged individuals to do likewise.

He suggested that as a means of dealing with the high cost of tertiary education, a fund could be established.

"We all agree funding is a major issue. How can we get around that? Well, I put it to you that if all Hanoverians were to pay small amounts into a managed fund; it is quite possible that at the end of a year or two, we will be able to offer all young persons who qualify for tertiary education a scholarship," he argued.

Hanover Charities is said to be the largest charity organisation in western Jamaica. It was founded in 1957 by the late William DeLisser, a former custos of Hanover, John Pringle and Betty Phillips, who died four years ago.

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