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J Wray & Nephew Foundation offers more scholarships

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

THE J Wray & Nephew Foundation (JWNF) has increased its 2019 community scholarship allotment to 140.

According to the foundation, the scholarships, which are tenable for tertiary and secondary education, pushes the available bursaries to record levels.

“This year's allocation is in furtherance of the JWN Foundation's pronouncement that it would grow its community scholarships offerings to 200 in 2021. Last year, 103 scholarships were issued, representing a rapid upward movement from the 65 scholarships granted in 2017, and the tally is set to increase to a whopping 308 if all the 2019 offerings are taken up,”said a release from the foundation.

“Deepening our investment in education is key to moving this country forward,” said Tanikie McClarthy Allen, CEO of the foundation.

She added: “We at the JWNF, like all Jamaicans, have seen an alarming increase in activities that are destroying our society. As pacesetters in Jamaica, we are keen to play our role in bringing about meaningful and positive change. We believe education is the best investment vehicle for this and, therefore, will continue our heavy focus on the classroom. Through education, young Jamaicans can see brighter prospects for the future, change the discourse and start to break the cycles that have kept their communities impoverished.”

The JWN Foundation was established in 2012 and is guided by its mantra of 'Transforming Lives and Communities for a Better Jamaica'. It offers community scholarships annually to tertiary and secondary level students from areas surrounding its business operations at Spanish Town Road in Kingston, New Yarmouth in Clarendon and Appleton Estate in St Elizabeth.

Applications opened on Monday, June 10 and runs for a three-week period, closing on Friday, June 28. The process is guided by an application form, which is available at schools and community centres within specified communities, including Olympic Way, Riverton Meadows, Majestic Gardens, Waterhouse and Seaview Gardens in Kingston; Gimme-Me-Bit, Race Course, Water Lane and Vernamfield in Clarendon; and Holland, Siloah, Thornton and Balaclava in St Elizabeth.

Among the requirements, tertiary scholarship applicants must maintain a 3.0 GPA/B+ average or higher, while secondary applicants must achieve 85 per cent or higher on the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) exam, or a grade average of 80 per cent. Applicants are also asked to demonstrate financial need and to write an essay that outlines their plans to be a catalyst for change within their communities. All successful tertiary-level scholarship recipients must give back 72 voluntary hours annually.

This year's scholarship numbers include 24 partial tertiary scholarships, valued at $200,000 each and six full bursaries valued at $450,000 each. Tertiary grants in total now stand at 30, which is up from the 2017 figure, when eight were awarded. Secondary scholarships have also been increased, with 110 now available, up from 80 that was granted last year.

Consistent with the growth in scholarship totals is the spend, which has increased over the years to a record figure of $10,250,000 for 2019 over the 2018 spend of $7,600,000. Tertiary scholarships account for the lion's share, with an allocation of $7.5 million. In 2017, the community scholarship was valued at $2,125,000.

“This is a critical stage in the development of Jamaica's youth, a stage where, unfortunately, many of our teenagers are losing their way,” said McClarthy Allen. “It is important that we capture this group of individuals and set them on a sustainable path,” said the foundation.

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