Eighteen students were provided with the opportunity to continue in colleges and universities through the Governor-General’s Programme for Excellence, Summer of Service Competition (SOS). This announcement was made in a ceremony held at King’s House on Friday (Sept 11).
In delivering an inspiring keynote address to the recipients, Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen stated that, “We hope and trust that as you build yourselves and develop the person you want to become, be ever conscious of giving back.”
He shared that as a student studying in the United States, he had a personal mantra in the form of four words, “For God and Country” and implored them that, “when you spend your life helping people you cannot lose.”
The Governor General also shared that, “the opportunity extended to the students, would not have been possible without the benevolence of our generous sponsors, and heads of colleges and universities.”
The Governor-General’s SOS competition which is one element of the I Believe Initiative is aimed at increasing the spirit of volunteerism among Jamaican youth and encouraging academic excellence.
The 2015 participants were placed at NGOs, Service Clubs, Religious and Community organizations where they got the opportunity to give voluntarily as they vied for the coveted prize of having their tuition covered based on the quality of their submitted portfolio of service.
Twelve of the recipients will attend the University of the West Indies, two the G. C. Foster College and one each the University of Technology – Jamaica, the College of Agriculture, Science and Education, Excelsior Community College and the Caribbean Maritime Institute.
Some were furnished with prizes such as book grants and mobile phone in addition to the partial or fully covered tuition expenses.
Since the inception of the SOS Competition in 2013, beneficiaries have commented that they have learnt positive values such as determination and persistence.
The Summer of Service Programme is coordinated by Major (Ret’d) Effiom Whyte, who pledged that he is moving for a 100% increase in student and sponsorship participation for 2016.