GG Launches Summer of Service Competition

Governor-General His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen on Wednesday (May 15) launched a Summer of Service (SOS) competition under the umbrella of his ‘I Believe’ Initiative (IBI) with the aim of increasing the spirit of volunteerism in youth, while offering them an opportunity to pursue their academic goals.  The competition which will run from June 1 to August 16 is open to final year CAPE students and first year University students who wish to pursue a Bachelors Degree in Social Sciences or Natural Sciences.

Sir Patrick stated his firm belief that the majority of our youth want to play a part in improving Jamaica by using their talent and time to enhance the quality of life of the most vulnerable in society.  He said the Summer of Service competition will challenge students to be part of what is right with Jamaica, by engaging them in volunteerism over the summer holidays with charitable and non-government organizations.  “It is also our hope that the competition will not only increase the act of volunteerism but also establish a cadre of young volunteers not only for contribution to the enhancement of our society, but also because of the positive impact of volunteerism on character building,” the Governor-General said.

The Governor-General expressed gratitude to the three Universities which will provide the scholarships for SOS winners. He also thanked the service clubs, religious, community and non-governmental organizations that have partnered with the ‘I Believe’ Initiative to make the competition a reality.  Those organizations have accepted the charge to host, support, mentor and supervise volunteers for the duration of the competition.  He issued an appeal for other NGOs, charitable organizations and religious institutions which have not yet joined the initiative, to make themselves available to accommodate volunteers who wish to participate in the competition.

To enter, students must complete an application form which should be downloaded from the IBI website at Applications must be submitted to the ‘I Believe’ Initiative by May 31 along with proof of application to any of the participating universities.  Participants are required to dedicate two and a half months of their summer holidays to a charitable or non-governmental organization or create their own charitable project.  The report on their selected project must be supported by certification from a designated Supervisor.  Deadline for submission of project reports is August 19, after which a panel of judges will determine the winning entries.

There will be six prizes as follows:

First: two three-year scholarships inclusive of maintenance stipend, tenable at the University of the West Indies (Mona);

Second: two one-year tuition scholarships, tenable at the University of Technology and the Northern Caribbean University.

Third: two educational material grants valued at $50,000 each from Kingston Bookshop and the ‘I Believe’ Initiative.

In 2011 Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen launched his ‘I Believe’ Initiative to encourage Jamaicans to aspire for excellence in the belief that “there is nothing wrong with Jamaica that cannot be fixed by what is right with Jamaica.”   Since then, several projects have been successfully undertaken by the ‘I Believe’ Initiative.


For further information contact:

Office of the Governor-General

Tel; 927-6425 Ext: 2033