The National Irrigation Commission Limited (NIC) on Thursday awarded scholarships to 22 secondary and tertiary students in an effort to assist in their academic pursuits. Two batches of students from the academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 were granted scholarships, each worth $100,000 for secondary students and $150,000 for tertiary students, at a ceremony held at Hotel Four Seasons.
Six of the students received grants totalling $25,000. The scholarship programme has been in place since 1998, beginning with a single award of a secondary scholarship, to help NIC employees send their children to school.
The programme, which has been running for 24 years, promotes three of the NIC’s fundamental values: excellence, commitment, and teamwork. Joseph Gyles, the National Irrigation Commission Limited’s chief executive officer, stressed the importance of assisting the development of youngsters who have showed tremendous potential and will ultimately contribute significantly to a thriving society. “These are the children of Jamaica’s future.
It is only prudent that the NIC invests in them, just like how the Government is invested in the NIC to increase irrigation agriculture,” he said. He also commended the students present on their hard work and dedication, noting that the excellence of the recipients were very pronounced. “Here at the NIC, we are committed to ensuring that financial challenges are not the reason why the children of those who work so hard to make the company function cannot further their education,” he said.
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“The National Irrigation Commission Limited believes in the family,” he continued, in salute of the parents who have made various sacrifices to invest in their children’s education. He then encouraged the youngsters to keep getting excellent grades and to make a difference in whichever career path they choose to follow.
“Use this scholarship awards … and water your dreams. Believe in your goals and continue to strive for excellence,” he added. Karesha Richardson, a two-time scholarship recipient and a first-time Agriculture Minister’s awardee for being the overall top achiever in the 2021-2022 school year, told The Gleaner that she appreciates the tuition assistance.
Majoring in digital marketing and advertising, the 20-year-old said that the initiatives made to assist young people are very important as it “can cut down any financial burdens on [the] parents”.
“I do appreciate that companies like the National Irrigation Commission Limited do support young people and invest in our education, as the education system … needs continuous improvement,” she added.
Supporting Future Leaders with National Irrigation Commission Scholarships
Nigel Myrie, chairman of the National Irrigation Commission Limited, added that the company looked forward to providing this assistance to their employees. “We are looking into your families, in particular your children … because we know that they are who you come to work day in and day out to ultimately care for, support, to nourish and to grow into responsible and productive adults,” he said.
Pearnel Charles Jr, minister of agriculture and fisheries, who delivered the keynote presentation, described the initiative as one that identifies Jamaica’s next generation’s leaders, while also providing assistance to the NIC’s staff, who have been major players in the effective operation of the ministry.
“I do believe that this is a really awesome initiative, because you not only make your employees know that they are valued, you not only highlight the excellence that work for us, but it encourages good work, it encourages a level of professionalism, it encourages involvement in the National Irrigation Commission Limited,” he said.
The minister also advised students to remember who they are and what they stand for, rather than being distracted by the world, and the technology around them, that can sometimes be a major block to success.