M&M invests $35m in scholarships over 10 years
Deputy managing director of M&M Jamaica Limited, RichardMullings (left), and businessman and mentor with the mentorshipprogramme Errol Smith in discussion with one of the company'sscholarship recipients, Shaniel Hall.

BORN out of a passion to positively impact his country through youth development, Founder and Managing Director of M&M Jamaica Limited, Donald Mullings, has transformed scores of young lives with investment in education.

Over the past 10 years, the company has spent more than $35 million providing several scholarships through its CHANCE Fund programme, which has enabled students to pursue studies in various disciplines at the tertiary level. Recently, it added a mentorship component, with the aim of connecting aspiring young professionals with industry veterans who are eager to impart guidance, knowledge, care, and motivation while also nurturing possibility thinking.

M&M has also established a mathematics competition in St Elizabeth, the native parish of its founder. It is geared at encouraging students to view mathematics as fun and not a subject to fear.

Under their internship programme, young engineering professionals are engaged, who have benefited from months of on-the-ground exposure to the day-to-day mechanics of the construction process. The internship programme has provided practical hands-on experience that complements the textbook knowledge garnered over their tertiary tenure.

“That scholarship has set the platform for my life, to where I am right now, and where I am heading,” stated Kemar Muir, who benefited from a four-year scholarship. He is now pursuing a master's programme and also working as a process engineer at Intel Corporation in the United States.

Sharing her experience, Shaniel Hall said she got a big surprise when she was awarded a full scholarship. Having taken a “leap of faith” and got what she thought was a one-year tuition support, to her amazement, when she was about to borrow funds for the second year, information came that the fees were already settled. She noted that she has been inspired to give back to her country from the generosity shown to her by M&M.

Shane Moodie, who entered the internship programme, says it has taught him engineering skills that he had not learnt at university and has “made the difference in my professional career. It is an excellent programme, and I am happy that I chose M&M,” he shared.

When Arianna Martin entered the programme, it was about gaining valuable experience to propel her into practising her engineering skills, and according to her, it is more than that. Now a full-time employee of the company, it has “broadened my horizon, opened many avenues, my self-awareness and growth”.

Civil Engineer Lesmar Murray says she has been mentored by M&M to “not limit self but to expand my horizon and continue my learning experience. It has given me holistic development, industry readiness, personal life-skills, and is making me a more rounded person,” she said.

Participant in the mathematics competition Nicola Morris, who is now serving as treasurer of the All Souls Anglican Church in St Elizabeth, said the company funds the majority of their community outreach programmes.

Most recent was a donation of $360,000 towards scholarships for students in the area, as well as other support to the community basic school.

Deputy Managing Director Richard Mullings said the initiatives are catalysts for the society's thrust towards youth development.

“We want to see people better trained and acclimatised to the workforce, and ready to be productive for our country,” he said.

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