32 Norwood students awarded PEP grantsThursday, September 09, 2021
BY ROCHELLE CLAYTON
MONTEGO BAY, St James - Some 32 students in the 2020 Primary Exit Profile (PEP) from the inner-city community of Norwood in St James, were awarded education grants from the Montego Bay Central Division's fourth annual back-to-school initiative at a ceremony held at Norwood Apostolic Lighthouse Church in St James.
The students, who will now move on to various high schools across western Jamaica, were the recipients of grants totalling $309,000 to assist with related expenses in secondary school.
The awardees were placed at several schools including Cornwall College, Mount Alvernia High, Anchovy High, Herbert Morrison Technical High and the Irwin High School.
Speaking at the handing-over ceremony, councillor for the division, Joshua Cummings, commended the students for hard work done while having to navigate the online learning platforms amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The councillor acknowledged that while many of the students did not perform how they may have wanted to during the PEP exams, they should never be discouraged but continue to work hard during their journey through high school.
“Some of you might have not gotten your first choice and some of you did, [and] I really want to [say] to the ones that did not get their first choice, take courage and tell yourselves that whichever school or institution that you find yourself in, you are going to do well. Never give up,” Cummings told the awardees.
He cited the support given by the parents to their children as a contributing factor to their success in the PEP exams. He noted that with the parents' continued support, the youngsters will be guided straight to a tertiary institution.
“We are in a pandemic and the truth is, you have worked hard with your child to see this day and I commend you. I want you to [continue to] work with them [as they] go straight into university because I believe that if we have a working and educated community, then our community can be transformed and that is what we want Norwood to be,” he stated.
He pointed out that while Norwood is deemed to be one of St James' most volatile communities, grants have been provided for a lot of youngsters to pursue tertiary education over the years.
“The truth is the stigma is out there that Norwood is a volatile community and we are seen in a [negative] light but…whenever it comes on to the scholarship grants for tertiary education, Norwood has always been the number one [community] in the division that pushes and sends out [students] to these tertiary institutions,” said Cummings.
Syrita Ross, a mother, whose two young sons are recipients of the grants, expressed gratitude for the initiative.
She shared that while her sons were not placed at the high school of their choice, she is still proud and believes that the twin boys, Tyrone and Tyrece Samuels, will excel at the Anchovy High School where they are placed.
“For me as a parent, I don't feel any way [that they did not receive] their first choice because the school that they got placed in was their fifth choice and it is a good school. I believe that whatever school they attend, once they put their mind to learning, they will learn,” she told the Jamaica Observer West.
The young boys also echoed their mother's sentiments.
“I am feeling excited but [I am] also very nervous,” Tyrone said.
His nervousness, he shared, comes from the uncertainty of high schools, including meeting new people.
“I am nervous because there will be other strange students and I don't know them,” the past student of Pinnacle Academy added.
For Tyrece, who also attended Pinnacle Academy, he is undaunted that he did not receive his first choice. The young boy is looking forward to high school, though he might not be able to attend face-to-face classes soon.