THE JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation has awarded approximately $8 million in scholarships and bursaries to 80 students, drawn from local secondary and tertiary institutions, for the 2021/ 2022 academic year.
“We are happy to support and empower individuals to realise their dreams by opening the door to the possibilities afforded by education. We know that the pandemic has increased the challenges faced by many Jamaicans, coupled with the social and economic fall-out. As such, the scholarship programme seeks to bridge the financial gap for many ordinary Jamaicans, in addition to being a vehicle to help individuals to unearth their greatness and transform their lives,” Patricia Sutherland, chairman of the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation, shared.
The primary beneficiaries of the scholarship programme are final-year tertiary students enrolled in selected degree programmes at local universities for the 2021/22 academic year. These individuals were selected based on their financial circumstances; academic performance; and involvement in extra-curricular activities or voluntary work in their schools and/or communities. Scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, books and/or other school-related expenses.
“This new cohort of scholarship recipients builds on the foundation of past beneficiaries who have defied the odds and gone on to cause a ripple effect of positive transformation in their own lives, families and communities,” noted Sutherland.
In keeping with the holistic approach, all tertiary scholarship recipients will participate in the Leadership, Involvement and Innovation, Financial Literacy & Education (LIFE) Accelerator programme, a career guidance and transformational initiative launched by the foundation earlier this month. This year-long programme is designed to assist these budding professionals to better transition to the world of work and tap into the skills and mindset needed to live purpose-driven lives, by offering professional development sessions, mentorship and coaching, as well as facilitating community involvement and transformational training.
The scholarship programme is part of the JMMB Group's mandate to support the development of youth through education and transformation. The foundation has awarded over $54 million in scholarships to approximately 240 students at primary, secondary, tertiary and special needs institutions, over the last six years, using it as a vehicle for transformation and advancement.
The foundation has further demonstrated its commitment to youth development through education, with the establishment of endowments at The University of the West Indies and the University of Technology, Jamaica, to support research and scholarships. In 2020, the foundation also donated $10 million to provide tablets to over 400 students as part of the One Tablet or Laptop Per Child initiative, designed to bridge the digital divide and enable students to remain engaged. This initiative is spearheaded by the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, Ministry of Education, Youth and Information through its agency, the National Education Trust, and Junior Achievement Jamaica. It is aimed at providing 100,000 students with devices to enable full participation in online teaching and learning.
In response to the ongoing challenges in funding higher education, JMMB Group has also rolled out other initiatives, such as a special loan offer with the Mona School of Business & Management and the Norman Manley Law School.