MONTEGO BAY, St James - FORTY students at primary and all age schools in western Jamaica have received their portion of one million dollars in scholarship grants provided by GraceKennedy Money Services (GKMS) for 100 students across the country.
According to the chief operations officer at GKMS, Michelle Allen,
the scholarships are set aside for the children of Jamaicans enrolled in the Government of Jamaica's Migrant Worker Programme.
The 40 western Jamaica youngsters were officially awarded during a press conference held last week at The Wexford Hotel in Montego Bay.
"Every year, hundreds of Jamaicans go abroad as part of the Migrant Worker Programme in an effort to provide a better life for their families. At GKMS and the wider GraceKennedy Group, scholarships like these are our way of acknowledging the sacrifices being made by these parents," Allen said.
The latest effort is among several charitable initiatives by GraceKennedy Money Services, which is the licensed operator of Western Union in Jamaica.
This is the second year that GKMS and Western Union have offered scholarships to children of migrant workers. The scholarships are worth some JMS$3.5 million to date.
"Our investment in our children today will put our country on the right track. Corporate Jamaica must recognise that the government cannot fix the education system on its own, and step up to the plate to secure the future of both our businesses and our country" she noted.
In addition to the scholarship grants disbursed, the company, along with its employees execute the Grace and Staff Foundation, geared towards helping students from inner-city communities to access educational opportunities which they otherwise may not have had access to.
The I PLEDGE programme for the primary school level by GKMS is another initiative that fosters educational development and growth in schools across the island, as well as the Music in School by First Global Bank and First Global Financial Services that is used to improve literacy among grade three and four students.
"The current group of students (the award recipients) will be the persons who make up the workforce in a few years, so it is in our best interest to ensure that this group is well educated and prepared for the task of furthering the advancement of Jamaica" Allen said.