Last Friday, the stories of seven outstanding and inspirational young Vincentians, the recipients of national scholarships for 2021, were published in the Weekend edition of SEARCHLIGHT. These youngsters were among the 61 recipients of national scholarships, exhibitions and bursaries announced last week by the Government based on the results of the 2021 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE), and the Associate Degree programmes of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College.
The stories of these six young women and one young man remind us about the talent and commitment that exist in our midst and our students, teachers and their parents who reach for the stars and sometimes actually touch them. The stories are a form of inspiration to others as they demonstrate that dreams do come true. Our dreams, of course, define what kind of nation we can become. These and other students and young people are charting a path of intellect, skill and imagination, without which we would be a lesser people.
These 61 scholarships, exhibitions and bursaries are being awarded at a time when COVID-19 has spread a blanket of uncertainty, fear and darkness across the land.
The scholarships are being awarded at a time when Government finances are stretched thin; revenue is down and the need for social services is today much greater than it was two years ago. The value of each national scholarship has been valued at approximately $560,000; over half a million East Caribbean dollars. When he announced the scholarships last week, the Prime Minister affirmed that despite the economic challenges
caused by the covid pandemic, these scholarships demonstrate that his government will not “compromise on the education of our young people”.
The brilliance of our students has brought a light of hope that has pierced the darkness. In every house where recipients of scholarships, exhibitions or bursaries live, there is joy without end. And the nation as a whole has reason to join in the spirit of optimism that now engulfs these homes. More than likely, we too would one day be beneficiaries of the grace bestowed upon these students.
We support the award of these scholarships and the priority given to rewarding commitment and excellence in our young people. These awards reaffirm that hard work and merit are the cornerstone of Vincentian life and that we have no greater privilege and responsibility than to invest in our children.