Burger King Foundation scholar urges peers to shine
SHINE bright like a diamond, words taken from Diamond, the platinum recording hit by Barbadian pop singer Rihanna, were offered to Burger King 2023 scholarship awardees by Burger King Foundation tertiary scholarship awardee Ashley Clarke. This took place at the company’s scholarship awards ceremony at Jamaica Pegasus hotel on August 17.
Over $9 million in scholarships and bursaries were presented to a record 28 students, including PEP awardees and high school graduates who started their studies in September. Clarke was one of the proud recipients of the Burger King national scholarship programme who received $ 1.2 million towards her pursuits in tertiary education.
Quoting the song, she charged the awardees to, “Be that diamond. You have been through the pressure and heat, now it is your time to shine and show the world what you are made of. Be the diamond at home, at school, in your community, and most of all in your education.”
Clarke, who is studying political science at The University of the West Indies, recounted her own struggles and the concerns of her family about the financial requirements of university life, and thanked Burger King on behalf of the other awardees for “investing in our future and taking a chance on us”.
“Standing before you today, my heart is filled with gratitude. Growing up in the inner city a common phrase I hear is, ‘If yuh wah good, yuh nose affi run’ and for the longest while I did not understand the meaning of the phrase – but going through high school brought clarity to the statement. If I wanted an ‘A’ I needed to study; if I wanted to go to Campion, I had to lose some friends; if I wanted to maintain a 3.9 GPA, I had to stay home and study rather than go out with friends; if I want to be the next female prime minister I have to finish college.”
She continued to implore scholars to go after their goals despite a lack of support from peers.
“It’s lonely going for your goals but it will all be worth it when you get the chance to walk across that podium and collect your college degree, your high school diploma, or even your primary school completion certificate,” she said.