SAMMARIEO Brown, second-year The University of the West Indies student, is a vision of excitement and hope after having been awarded the VM Investments Limited — Maurice C Robinson Business Management and Economics Scholarship, which he said was simultaneously unexpected and life-changing.
Brown, who is pursuing a double major in computer science and statistics, was the first recipient of the scholarship launched by VM Investments Limited (VMIL) in partnership with The University of the West Indies Development and Endowment Fund (UWIDEF) in September last year.
“I am tremendously grateful. I didn't see a way out and when I got the scholarship it blew my mind, because I didn't expect to get it and I believe it has changed the course of my life and my academic career,” he said.
The York Castle alum, who hails from Liberty Hill in Discovery Bay, St Ann, said the scholarship represents an opportunity for him to not just complete his studies but to pursue a career in data sciences within the financial services industry that will have meaningful impact on national development.
“Receiving this scholarship motivates me to do even better in my studies. Knowing that there is someone who believes in my career and education really gives me the boost to keep pushing for greatness,” he said.
Brown said his being awarded the scholarship is the latest example of his faith in a positive outcome paying off, having started his university career, as well as his previous tenure at Brown's Town Community College, not knowing how he would finance either.
His talents as a musician would serve him well in the latter, as he was able to work as part of a band to cover his tuition, while a family member gave him a helping hand in his first year at The UWI.
The former cadet lead, who was also guild president at Brown's Town Community College, encouraged other youngsters to recognise that a positive and determined mindset can make the difference in their trajectory.
“You are in charge of you — your experiences and your mindset. That mindset can build or break you. You must have a strong mindset as well as a good plan,” he said.
“Plan out what you want to achieve and seek help. Also, you must keep going, no matter how hard it seems. Believe that you can do it. Believe in you.”
Brown said his goal is to pursue a computer science postgraduate degree in the field of quantum finance theory within the next five to seven years.
The VM Investments Ltd —Maurice C Robinson Business Management and Economics Scholarship was open to students with at least a 3.0 GPA, who have verifiable financial need, are active participants in extracurricular activities, and demonstrate leadership skills as well as a spirit of volunteerism and social involvement.
In addition to full tuition coverage, the scholarship recipient will benefit from an internship opportunity with VMIL.
The scholarship, named in honour of former chairman of VM Wealth Management Limited and accomplished attorney Maurice Robinson, is valued at $500,000 per year for one successful student.