The transition from primary to high school when the school year starts this week will be made much easier for four students, having received scholarships from Florida-based AQuA Foundation. In addition, four others who are already in high school have accessed renewed funding which also underwrites all their school fees.
Total disbursement was $350,000.
First-time awardees of the AQuA Foundation scholarships are Imari Clarke and Ocakvia Campbell, both from Rollington Town Primary; Tremaine Grant from Allman Town Primary, and Emily Williams and Dimario Sullivan from Mona Heights Primary.
The high school students who had their AQuA Foundation scholarships renewed are Britanie Hall of Convent of Mercy Academy (Alpha); and Shaquille Ramsay, Daniel Campbell and Joshua McKnight, all of Wolmer’s Boys’ School.
The students were recognised at an awards function last week, at which three young entrepreneurs representing Educatours encouraged them to “think big” and delivered pointers for success.
In their joint presentation to the scholarship winners, CEO Kadeem Pet-grave, along with fellow directors Simier Landsend and Jahmar Clarke urged the students to get in touch with their strengths and weaknesses as they lay the foundation for success.
“Know yourself. Find your passion and pursue it,” Pet-grave said.
Drawing on his own developmental experience, he encouraged the students to make it a habit to read the local newspapers regularly as a means of being aware and to increase their understanding of the world around them.
Both Clarke and Landend echoed the CEO’s call to the youngsters not only to think big, but to “think outside the box”, and reminded the group that it was only fairly recently that the businesses now known as Google and Facebook emerged.
They, however, cautioned the students that they had to be disciplined in their approach if they wanted to realize their goals and they were united in their plea to the young students that they should not underestimate the tremendous value of having a formal education.
They also called on parents and guardians to help ground their children in sound principles and to encourage their charges to always “plan and practice to be disciplined.” The young entrepreneurs, who were all graduates of Jamaica College, in recalling their own experience with building a company from the ground up, told the students that being in school could see the start of invaluable friendships which could turn out to be essential in networking in later years and could be a great asset in their future successes.
Educatours, which the former Jamaica College students founded three years ago, offers guided tours by integrating technology and gamification.
The AQuA Foundation, meanwhile, is the brainchild of Wolmer’s Boys’ alumnus Nigel Pennycooke who serves as executive director. It started in 2006, but first began awarding scholarships in Jamaica in 2016. Scholarships are awarded based on financial need as well as academic merit.