Six young Vincentians were awarded 5-year scholarships, last Wednesday, as they continue on their journey into the secondary school phase of their education.
At a ceremony to honor the awardees and the donors, Juno DeRoche – the event’s emcee – noted that the successful scholars were selected from a list of 78 applicants. “Initially the ceremony was planned for the handing over of 1 scholarship – the Annette Liverpool Scholarship – but the overwhelming response received” prompted the “Girls Guide, teacher and mother” in Latoya DeRoche-John to intervene.
According to Juno, DeRoche-John reached out to her network and was able to secure commitments for the financial support offered to 6 of the students who aced the recent Caribbean Primary Exit Assessments.
The inaugural scholarship grant ceremony saluted Annette Liverpool as she was said to have been an educator par excellence with over 30 years’ experience in the local education system. Liverpool enjoyed teaching stints at the Kingstown Preparatory School and at the St. Vincent Teachers’ College. Her classroom legacy provided the foundations upon which many professional educators’ careers were built including that of the current Chief Education Officer, Elizabeth Walker.
CEO Walker told Wednesday’s ceremony, “I stand here today a product of Mrs. Annette Liverpool…. I am who I am today because of her. She was my teacher, she inspired me, she guided me, she encouraged me and pushed me to do my best….
“It’s because of her legacy that other donors were inspired to contribute to the scholarship [fund] moving it from 1 to 6. I must say to the donors, ‘you’ve made a valuable investment which will bear fruit. That is an investment in our human resources and I want to thank you greatly for that contribution.’”
The Chief Education Officer advised the scholarship recipients to stay focused on their academic pursuits while endeavoring to make their donors proud. Walker also encouraged the parents to maintain their support of the children.
“The finance is provided for you this afternoon but there are other areas of support – emotionally, spiritually and psychologically… help them to develop positive attitudes in their learning. In the end the efforts of these donors would not be in vain.”
Kurt, Colin and Andre Liverpool, Annette’s children, all chipped in to finance the award in their mother’s honor. The ceremony heard brief remarks from Kurt and Andre who pledged their resources to the children’s continued development.
The scholarships may continue beyond the stipulated 5 years of secondary school education if the recipient qualifies for matriculation at the SVG Community College. In the meantime the scholar must maintain a passing grade “average of at least 70 percent” failure to do so would result in a caution in the first instance.
“Parents must ensure that a school report is submitted to Mrs. Latoya DeRoche-John who is the Chairperson via email… every term,” Juno DeRoche shared. The financial allocations are to be disbursed as per a preset schedule to be triggered only if qualifying school reports are lodged with the scholarship committee’s Chairperson.
Other provisos include a possible withdrawal of the scholarship if the awardee is forced to repeat a Form. It, however, may be reinstated once the student qualifies for his/her next promotion. Additionally the scholarship holder may not access any other scholarships for the duration of his/her secondary school career. “Should this occur, the scholarship would be immediately discontinued,” Juno DeRoche advised. The students’ conduct at school may also impact on the Committee’s decision to terminate the scholarship.
The funds are meant to cover the cost of books, transportation, examinations and incidentals. The monies would be disbursed over the 3 terms of a school year, DeRoche explained. “Forms 1 – 3: students would receive in the first terms EC$1,000, second terms EC$250 and in the third terms $250 – a total of $1, 500.
“Every student who walks away with a scholarship this afternoon will walk away with the same amount of $1500.
“Forms 4 – 5: First Term EC$1,250, second term $250, third term $250 – a total of $1,750. If you are successful for the continuity of the scholarship: first term at the Community College you would receive $1,250, second term $250 – a total of $1,500,” Juno DeRoche told Wednesday’s ceremony.
Jaylon Lynch formerly of the Georgetown Primary School was awarded the Adrian Rose (in honor of Veronica Toney) Scholarship. Questelles Government School past students Iyanna Quashie and Claudia Lovelace won the Claudette Butler and Annette Liverpool Scholarships respectively.
The Dianna John Scholarship was given to St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Primary School graduate Yannie Bascombe while her former school mate, Matthew Wilson copped the Leonora Davis Scholarship. Wilson is one of the 3 young men who tied for top grades in the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment locally.
Also collecting an award from the Annette Liverpool Scholarship Fund was Lower Bay Primary alumnus Parizz Cudjoe. He was granted the Noel and Casynella Cyrus Scholarship. Casynella Cyrus nee Ollivierre captured the 2005 Ms. SVG title and hails from the Southern Grenadines. All scholarship awardees were gifted with LTE ready smart devices by telecoms service provider Digicel SVG.
The ceremony also recognized the efforts of the Principals who shepherded the primary schools through whom the awardees were groomed. Headmistresses Mrs. Friday of the Lower Bay Primary School, Mrs. Ferdinand of the Questelles Government and Mrs. Johnny of the St. Mary’s R.C were all presented with tokens of appreciation. The principal of the Georgetown Primary School, Mrs. James, was also awarded.
“This scholarship illustrates a firm belief in the potential of the nation’s youth and the critical role education plays within our society. Thank you for blessing our tomorrow with hope and opportunity,” Claudia Lovelace mentioned as she delivered the Vote of Thanks.
JP.Schwmon.Vincy@Gmail.Com, Asbert News Network