Bespoke principal launches CARIMAC grant programmeSunday, September 12, 2021
DESPITE the devastating effects of the pandemic caused by the deadly COVID-19 virus, at least one University of the West Indies (UWI) student will be able to breathe easier knowing that his or her semester one tuition fees will be paid in full at the start of the new academic year.
Florida-based public relations firm Bespoke Communications is offering financial relief and mentorship via its newly established Bespoke-CARIMAC Grant Programme, which will award an exemplary student going into the second or third academic year at the tertiary institution's Caribbean School of Media and Communication (CARIMAC).
Launched recently, the annual grant will benefit any student pursing an undergraduate degree in communications and marketing-related disciplines at the school that is widely regarded as the Caribbean's leading institution for communication training, research, teaching and media production. The programme will also offer ongoing personal and career mentorship to the selected students for the duration of their degree and beyond.
“The pandemic has been tough and even life-changing for all of us Jamaicans, and this includes our students. During the throes of my own struggles in coming to terms with 'the new normal', I oftentimes thought about how the students had been impacted, especially mentally and financially, at a key stage in their lives. It's for this reason that I chose to give back by way of financial assistance and mentorship,” said Shanique Palmer, principal of Bespoke Communications. Palmer is a graduate of CARIMAC, having completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in media and communication, with a minor in Spanish in 2009.
With the commencement of the 2021-2022 academic year and the back-to-school period in full-but-very-limited swing, the usual excitement for returning students has been marred by financial uncertainty in addition to Government-mandated no-movement days, curfews and other restrictions in an attempt to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“There is so much uncertainty for many of our students in terms of their financial situations. Quite a few won't be able to join us this semester, and some will have to sit out the entire academic year, so this grant is very timely,” said Dr Livingston White, director of CARIMAC.
In order to be eligible for the Bespoke-CARIMAC grant, candidates must have earned a grade point average of not less than 3.0 and be a citizen of a Caribbean territory at the time of application. They should also have completed their first year in the undergraduate degree programme at CARIMAC.
In selecting grant beneficiaries, Palmer said, “We're looking for candidates who have the potential to excel as scholars, as leaders and as contributors to the Caribbean's PR (public relations) landscape. Assessment will be based on academic merit, leadership potential and ambassadorial potential.”
Established in 1974, CARIMAC continues to expand its suite of programmes, having made its transition in 2017 to officially being recognised as a school. Over the last five years, the former institute has doubled the number of undergraduate and graduate programmes, with the student population at both The UWI, Mona Campus and The UWI, Western Jamaica Campus, totalling almost 600.
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