What was supposed to be a quick chat with the chairman of her school's board of directors quickly turned into a half-a-million-dollar surprise for Dr Marsha Smalling, principal of Glenmuir High School in Clarendon.
Patrick Hylton,president and CEO of NCB Financial Group Limited and Glenmuir High School alumnus, presented the educator with a cheque for $500,000, the President's Pick in the NCB Foundation's 2022 Grant a Wish programme.
"When I thought about it I could not think of a more deserving person for my 'President's Pick' for this year's Grant a Wish," said Hylton.
"Dr Smalling, you are a tangible demonstration of our commitment as an organisation to empower people, unlock dreams, and build communities," added Hylton.
After sharing that the funds would go towards enhancing the school's multimedia and digital teaching resources, an emotional Smalling said: "This is such a heart-warming surprise, and I cannot wait to share it with the students and administration of Glenmuir High School."
NCB Foundation's 2022 Grant a Wish programme aims to recognise and celebrate educators, individuals, and community organisations that have made significant contributions to education in Jamaica.
Its $15-million budget will be used to grant wishes for teachers, principals, guidance counsellors, community organisations, charities, and community heroes, as well as providing laptop and tablet devices for youngsters in need.
According to CEO of the NCB Foundation, Nadeen Matthews Blair, "Education has always been a primary focus of the foundation. We are now doubling down on digital education so that we can empower the next generation with the digital skills to make them competitive in the global workforce and well positioned to lead Jamaica's digital transformation.
"This year, we have chosen to recognise and express our gratitude for the selfless contributions of our educators. As always, we are inviting Jamaicans to grant wishes to those serving our students and communities."
The annual programme invites nominations from the public online at grantawish.jncb.com in the categories of 'Formally Trained Educator', which is a principal, teacher and/or guidance counsellor; 'Charitable Organisations', which is a charity/non-government organisation/special needs or community centre; and 'Community Hero'.
Beneficiaries receiving the top votes in each category will receive donations valued at $750,000 for first place, $500,000 for second place, and $300,000 for third place.
Additionally, 10 laptops and 10 tablets will be donated to children 17 years old and younger.
People may submit their nominations at grantawish.jncb.com and vote up to 12 times per day until December 15.
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