The Child Development Agency has welcomed the awarding of some $7.6 million in scholarships by J. Wray and Nephew to secondary and tertiary students, including six former wards of the State who received a total of $1.26 million to further their tertiary studies.
The youngsters from State care were presented with cheques amounting to $210,000 each, covering tuition and books.
At the recent awards ceremony held at J. Wray and Nephew’s headquarters on Dominica Drive, CDA’s Director of Children and Family Programmes Audrey Budhi thanked the company for its spirit of generosity as demonstrated by the awarding of the scholarships to the youngsters from State care, the wider community and children of staff.
“The Agency is supremely grateful for this investment in our children’s future; this will change their circumstances and improve their chances for high achievement,” Ms. Budhi said.
The CDA Director explained that the Agency was currently responsible for over 4000 wards of the State who came into the government’s care due to abuse, abandonment or neglect, or other challenges in their homes and communities.
Ms. Budhi further explained that, “when children attained the age of 18, the law says that the Agency is no longer responsible for them and they must leave the system and be on their own.” She added however: “Since 2009, the CDA has been putting in place a transitional living programme to support these former wards to make a smoother transition to adulthood by providing assistance with their tertiary and vocational education; accommodation and career counseling and guidance among other areas”.
Adding that the CDA was currently assisting over 40 wards of the State with their tertiary education, Ms. Budhi noted, “That is why this gift to our tertiary students and other vulnerable children in the wider community is of such importance.”
She concluded, “the CDA looks forward to a sustained partnership with J. Wray and Nephew, and will continue to work for the upliftment and empowerment of the future generation.”
Giving an overview of the JWN scholarship programme, Senior Director of Corporate Affairs, Greta Bogues said that JWN believed in the value of education, and was committed to providing assistance through its annual scholarship programme to children and youngsters at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels from surrounding communities which it serves.
“J Wray and Nephew understands the importance of making a difference in the communities in which we do business. Our company has always placed emphasis on corporate social responsibility, especially ways in which we can contribute to the development of youth,” she said.
Ms. Bogues said that J. Wary and Nephew family was elated to be on board with the CDA to recognize the academic achievements of youngsters who were excelling academically.
Giving the keynote address, Assistant Chief Education Officer for the Special Education Unit at the Ministry at Education, Dr. Hixwell Douglas, who was representing the Minister of Education, Rev. Ronald Thwaites lauded the recipients for their achievements, and encouraged them to continue striving for greatness.
“The sky is the limit, so reach for the stars. Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going, so keep going, because life is like riding a bicycle, and in order to keep your balance, you just have to keep on moving,” Dr. Douglas encouraged the youngsters.
Meanwhile, Scholarship recipient, Jovaney Ashman, who is currently a second year mass communication student at Northern Caribbean University, said that he was overwhelmed having received the scholarship.
“I am indeed grateful for the opportunity that is being afforded to me. When I heard that I was offered a scholarship, I just said thank you God, CDA and J. Wray and Nephew for the assistance because it really means a lot to me,” Mr. Ashman said.
Mr. Ashman said that he will continue to work hard academically, and make all who have invested in him very proud, because he is determined and destined to succeed.
Other former wards receiving scholarships included, Clement Lawrence; Roshawna Byndloss, Kemar Henry; Dwayne Hayne and Desomna Haynes.
Contact: CDA PR Unit