GraceKennedy awards $17.5 m in scholarships


Former head boy of Charlemont High School in St Catherine Avaughn Prendergast has won the GraceKennedy/Jamaica Scholarship for 2016, while Stephan Pitterson, formerly of Campion College, has copped the Douglas Orane award.

Both Prendergast and Pitterson are students of The University of the West Indies (UWI) where the former is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in actuarial science, while the former is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in bio chemistry.

Prendergast obtained nine grade ones in the recent CSEC examinations and completed 12 units of CAPE with 11 grade ones and one grade two. He is passionate about maths and represented Jamaica at the Math Olympiad in Nicaragua earlier this year. Pitterson, meanwhile, has eight CSEC subjects, with seven grade ones and one grade two. He has eight units of CAPE, including seven grade ones and one grade two.

The two are among over 75 students who were presented with scholarships and bursaries at GraceKennedy Foundation’s inaugural Scholars Awards Ceremony on October 20. Seven scholarships were presented to first-time recipients, while existing scholars who maintained at least a ‘B’ average, had their awards renewed. The entire package totalled $17.5 million.

Former GraceKennedy Chairman and CEO, Raf Diaz, was on hand to present a scholarship, named in his honour, to Shanike Josephs, a first-year accounting student at UWI. Her extra-curricular involvements include membership with the Jamaica Automobile Association, United Nations Club, Girls Guides and Interact (VP). Shanike has nine CSEC subjects, eight with grade ones and one grade two. She also completed eight units of CAPE, including seven grade ones and one grade two.

Other scholarships presented include the GraceKennedy/University of Technology Jamaica Scholarship, which went to Shanika Spencer; the Edna Manley College Scholarship, which went to School of Drama student Waldane Walker; and the Bruce Rickards Scholarship, specifically for former Kingston College students, went to Kadeem Campbell and Mark Lewis.

Final year student Withney DaCosta received the GraceKennedy/Caribbean Maritime Institute Bursary. The GraceKennedy Foundation also awarded several other bursaries to students attending UWI, UTech, Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts, and Northern Caribbean University.

The scholarship applications open May 1 to July 15 each year.

At the awards ceremony, Grace Burnett, CEO of GK Financial Group, spoke of GraceKennedy’s investment in education through its two foundations which she said was aimed at bringing about a change for Jamaica’s future.

“All of our scholars are exceptional students with most coming from low income households and would not have been able to afford university education without assistance,” she said.

“Education is a very important area of focus for GraceKennedy, which is why our two foundations, the Grace & Staff Community Development Foundation and the GraceKennedy Foundation invest so heavily in our children. We want to be the game changer- changing the structures in inner city communities, from dons to doctors or engineers or accountants and the many other professions, developing a strong workforce for Jamaica’s future,” she added.–17-5-m-in-scholarships_78753



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