The Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Company handed over $8 million to four institutions, to assist students financially challenged in completing their academic studies, on Tuesday (August 11).
The institutions were: the University of Technology (UTech), which will receive $4 million; University of the West Indies (UWI), $2.5 million; Northern Caribbean University (NCU), $1 million; and $500,000 to the St. Patrick Foundation.
The St. Patrick’s Foundation is a non-profit, human and community development organization, which serves the people inner city communities of in the western section of St. Andrew, including Olympic Gardens, Waterhouse, Seaview Gardens, Riverton and Calaloo Mews. The others three are universities.
The initiative forms part of the company’s education development programme, which focuses on tertiary grants geared towards providing and enhancing educational opportunities for the country’s youth.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony at the Terra Nova All Suites Hotel in Kingston, Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen said that education is one of the fundamental pillars of national development. He also lauded JPS for the initiative.
The Governor-General noted that the initiative demonstrated that the light and power company believes in Jamaica and its youths, while recognising that a solid education today, will help them to build a brighter Jamaica, tomorrow.
He added that the initiative is a true reflection of the company’s motto, “changing lives with our energy.”
The Governor-General noted that with this approach, the company is doing more than lighting streets and houses; they are empowering individuals to “become beacons to other youths and the world.”
He urged the recipients of the scholarships and grants to become “ambassadors of change” in their communities, identifying young people who they can mentor and encouraging them to believe in themselves.
“Do not squander the wonderful opportunity that has been given to you.Use the opportunity well. Jamaica needs more young people who are achieving success. This is what will enable the nation to grow itself out of the present social and economic challenges that we face,” he said.
He also commended the tertiary institutions for participating in the programme, and for ensuring that students in need of financial assistance can receive it.
President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the JPS, Damian Obiglio, noted that education is critical to the development of the nation and, as such, the company has designed several initiatives which are geared towards this.
Deputy Principal, UWI, Joseph Pereira, speaking on behalf of the recipients, thanked JPS for the initiative which, he noted, will enable financially challenged students to achieve higher education.
The programme which started some five years ago has so far provided some $28 million towards to students in need.