The future of St Vincent and the Grenadines shines brighter than ever as the nation celebrates a record-breaking year for National Scholarships.
On Tuesday, October 24, graduates of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC) were presented with 26 National Scholarships, a feat never before achieved in a single year. The number surpasses the previous year’s total of 21.
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, during his feature address at the School’s Independence Rally at Victoria Park revealed that each National Scholarship is valued at EC$600,000 covering support at University for five years. He said in order to benchmark the scholarship’s value, it was aligned with the cost of a medical degree at the University of the West Indies (UWI), the most expensive degree offered by that educational institution.
In addition to the National Scholarships, seven Exhibition Scholarships were awarded, each providing three years of support at University. There were also three Special Awards, akin to National Exhibitions, that were presented to students at the SVGCC who achieved the standard for an Exhibition award, but were over 21 years old.
There were also 29 Bursaries awarded, The Prime Minister emphasized, each valued at EC$25,000 for three years, to deserving students. These recipients were also encouraged to apply for other forms of financial assistance.
The Prime Minister said in order to ensure that the scholarships and awards go to the most deserving candidates, specific academic benchmarks were set. To achieve a National Scholarship, students must achieve an average of over 80 per cent, based on their scores at the CXC CAPE or a GPA of 3.8 in the Associates Degree programme.
For National Exhibitions, the student’s average must fall between 75 and 80 per cent, while the Bursaries are awarded to those with an average of between 70 and 75 per cent.
The Prime Minister’s awardees – Elzicho DeBique and David Dunn, each received, in addition to their five-year scholarships, a medal and $20,000. In total, the combined value of all the scholarships awarded this year exceeds $20 million.
During the ceremony, the Prime Minister shared words of encouragement, urging young people to seize the opportunities available to them. He emphasized the importance of excelling academically and becoming leaders in their respective fields.
Each of the 26 National Scholarships was awarded in the name of an outstanding deceased Vincentian.
Following are the recipients:
NATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS: Elzicho De Bique – Prime Minister’s Award, David Dunn – Prime Minister’s Award, Joshua Small – The Garth Saunders Award, Tai Ballantyne – The Vaughn Toney Award, Solomon Bascombe – The Elaine Connell Award, Ramiro Georges – The Peter Ballantyne Award, Emma Rouse – The Peggy Ince-Hull Award, Janica Browne – The Ercelle John-Thomas Award, Eduardo Gibbons – The Inspector Henry Providence Award, Giovanni Slack – The Hugh Wyllie Award, Luke Wilson – The Elvis Daniel Award, Marika Baptiste – The Louise Toney Award, Aturo Parsons – The Olivia Bentick Award, Runel Primus – The James Daniel Award, Jadiah Sampson – The Edgerton Scott Award, Kajé Jack – The Alfred John Award, Cayla Morris – The O.T Mayers Award, Matthew Washington – The Oswald Nanton Award, Jeremy Abbott – The Viola John Award, Kwèsi James – The Nigel Greaves Award, Mikhael Neeme – The Clement Ballah Award, Michael Sanyour – The Winston Bacchus Award, Noah Hadley – The Shirley Layne Award, Amanda Medford – The Patrick DaSilva Award, Tawana Richards – The Letchie & Dorothy Dickson Award, Winnessa James – The Kenneth & Norma Jackson Award EXHIBITION SCHOLARSHIP: Tyrese Fiedtkou, Colin Lewis, Jomarie Tash, Eroy John, Darius Dasouza, Eldricka Jack, Stephanique Ince SPECIAL AWARDS: Aneka Neptune, Sylvorne Johnson, Deanna Williams, Cameron Bruce.
BURSARIES: Akayla Crichton, Gemariah Harry, Renaldo Providence, Rebecca Sassine, Kerricia Thomas, Myah Bullock, Zavorn Campbell, Aaliyah Dickson, Rasheed George, Alleika Johnson, Elritha Davis, Phyliscia Placide, Odinga Williams, Serena Lyttle, Karlson Greaves, Kiara Burnette, Avont Phillips, Rossana Veira, Ivan Jobe, Lisa Jacobs, Sherri-Ann Ollivierre, Kallise Knights, Andrew Mapp, Mya Pompey, Janniah Ollivierre, Marsha Marshall, Danica Shallow, De Vere James, Odano Baptiste.