CB, UWI target $15 millionWednesday, October 07, 2015
CB Group and the University of the West Indies (UWI) are seeking to raise $15 million from their 5K run/walk this year, $5 million more than they pulled in last year, for the benefit of the university's scholarship fund.
The CB Group UWI 5K Run/Walk event is in its fourth year and has assisted over 75 students since the inaugural staging in 2012. To date some $38 million has been raised and awarded to young outstanding academic achievers who are in financial need, the company said.
At last month's launch of the fourth staging at the UWI-Usain Bolt Track, Keli-Jo Hewett-Dalling a scholarship recipient and second year economics major, spoke about how the CB Group UWI 5K scholarship has helped her continue her studies.
"I've always had the desire to contribute to nation building in a positive way, and therefore the passion to pursue a degree in economics. With all of this, I needed funding to make this a reality, and my determination to attend UWI led me to seek different avenues ...I began writing and sending out multiple letters and e-mails, requesting consideration for financial assistance of any form. I then prayed in faith I would get favourable responses. School started, and I received unfavourable responses, but I knew God would be on time," she said.
The young woman's faith held strong, and she soon got good news.
"It was during the fourth week of school, when funds were literally going dry that I received the call: 'Congratulations Keli-Jo, I'm calling to let you know that you were awarded a CB Group, UWI 5K scholarship, you can use it to help you with travelling, tuition, lunch money, and other expenses. I was so elated, I screamed, I shouted, I cried, I didn't even know there was such a scholarship out there, I had only sent a letter," she added.
Hewett-Dalling is no stranger to academic success, having attained a total of 20 grade ones from CXC -- 10 at CSEC and five at CAPE.
Shanice Mullings, a third year medical student, who has received a sport scholarship through the CB Group UWI 5K has encouraged fellow students and the wider Jamaica to register for the 5K.
"I have seen first-hand the impact this fund-raising effort can have on students' lives. It's important we help young people to afford an education because we are the ones who will be able to build Jamaica," she told the launch.
Shanice balances her studies with playing football for the UWI womens' team, and is a stellar example of hard work.
UWI notes that is important that students who need it most have increased access to education, but for student athletes, the problem is two-fold. For many of them, the pressure to perform academically, coupled with the challenges of paying academic fees and keeping up on proper nutrition can be a lot to bear. Two such CB Group/UWI 5K scholars, Jordan Hazle -- who plays table tennis for Jamaica and also for the university; and Jovanny Clarke -- who plays volleyball nationally and at UWI, highlighted that having some of this pressure relieved allows them to focus on their studies and athletics, rather than their finances.
The relatively new line of scholarship funding has allowed more top athletes not only to begin their tertiary studies, but to stay in school once they started. Scholarships funded through the CB Group/UWI 5K event have helped to contribute to the gradual increase in quality athletes and athletic programmes coming out of the UWI, and Dalton Myers, head of sport at the UWI Sports Department is looking forward to yet another successful staging.
"UWI, while renowned for and continuing a trend of academic excellence, has gradually improved in the sporting arena and the programmes, teams and athletes we have, partly due to the funding from the CB Group UWI 5K. It is truly a direct effort at youth development, sporting development and consequently national development," he said.
Registration for the event has continued to grow over the years, but Matthew Lyn, COO of CB Group, has indicated the company's determination to see an improved impact in 2015.
"We are in our fourth year of this 5K now, and truly, we feel it can be so much more. The CB Group believes in the power of education, and as Jamaicans we're committed to making our country better by helping improve access to education. The UWI 5K has helped several students in financial need so far, but this is really just the tip of the iceberg, and we need more support for our students," he said.
Professor Archibald McDonald, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal of UWI, Mona, has noted that the initiative is the single largest fund-raising event for the University's Scholarship Programme.
"Many of the students who receive the CB Group UWI 5K Scholarships are the first in their family to attend an institution of higher education. The opportunity afforded them as a result of this event will impact not only their lives but generations to come," he said.
Those who wish to support fund-raising for the CB Group UWI 5K scholarships can register for the run at www.runningeventsja.com or get more information at www.ui5k.com.jm. Direct donations to the fund can be made through the CB Group office, or the Institutional Advancement Division at UWI.
The UWI 5K and Smart Eggs Kids K, which will both begin and end at the UWI Mona Bowl, are scheduled for Sunday, November 15 with the 5K run scheduled for 7:00 am followed by the Kids K at 8:00 am.
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