$9-m endowment from successful past student to benefit STETHS
FRASER... investing in the development of our youth is crucial for the future of our community and country

NEW YORK, United States — The St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) Alumni Association United States Chapter has secured a US$60,000 (J$9.2-million) donation to fund its mentoring programme and infrastructure projects at the Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth-based institution.

The donation has come from California-based Dr Cosmo Fraser, a renowned scientist, musician, businessman, philanthropist and STETHS alumnus who graduated from the school in 1968.

In a press statement accompanying the donation, Dr Fraser said he was proud to support the efforts of the STETHS Alumni Association in the US to provide students with the mentoring and resources they need to succeed.

"I believe that investing in the development of our youth is crucial for the future of our community and country," he said, adding: "The premise of this mentoring programme is to connect current students, ages 10 through 18 years, with positive role models who can provide guidance and support."

WRIGHT... the funding will play a significant part in providing books, meals, and transportation to students in need

Welcoming the donation, the STETHS Alumni Association USA Chapter praised Dr Fraser and his colleagues at the University of California San Francisco for being the first to show that hyponatremia (low sodium/salt content in the blood) can lead to permanent brain damage in young women and children of either sex.

Many of Dr Fraser's works are published in a number of prestigious medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, the British Medical Journal, and the Annals of Internal Medicine, among others, the association noted.

"The funding will play a significant part in providing books, meals, and transportation to students in need. Part of this endowment will also be used to upgrade labs and other academic learning spaces at the school," said Alumni Association President Dr Cecil Wright.

The past students body was incredibly grateful to Dr Fraser for his generous donation which will have a significant impact on the students and school, Dr Wright said, pledging that the association would continue to play a crucial role in STETHS's thrust to provide students with the best-possible education and resources.

The Fraser endowment is to be disbursed over a three-year period beginning this year, and Dr Wright noted that the first amount of US$20,000 had already been received by his association.

Founded in 1961 with 110 students, STETHS currently has a student enrollment of over 1,700, according to its Facebook page. It has a rich history and tradition of excellence in academics and athletics.

Among notable alumni are Olympians Shericka Williams, Winthrop Graham, and Bridgette Foster-Hylton; Captain Horace Burrell, late president of the Jamaica Football Federation, and Wendell Downswell, former national football coach; former West Indian cricketers Daren Powell, Jerome Taylor, Nikita Miller and Brenton Parchment.

BY HAROLD G BAILEY Observer writer

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