Colin Bacchus, president of the SVBLA Board (left) with Lucah Melville and Ennabelle McMaster, two of this year’s scholarship recipients
August 5, 2022
Three students awarded with scholarships by SVBLA

Three students have been awarded with seven-year scholarships from the St Vincent Building and Loan Association (SVBLA).

The students: Ennabelle McMaster, Lucah Melville and Amaia Wilkinson join more than 20 other students currently a part of the SVBLA scholarship programme.

The new and existing scholarship awardees received their yearly payouts on Tuesday, August 2 at a short ceremony at the SVBLA headquarters on Halifax Street.

Feature speaker, Lester Iroha encouraged students to dream big and embrace failure on their path to success.

“We are now living in an era of possibilities and opportunities, where access to education has never been easier. We also now have the ability to make a living for a wider, more diverse category of careers and industries. Embracing these facts opens up the future to the realisation of dreams previously thought unattainable,” he said.

Lester Iroha, entrpreneur and featured speaker at the 2022 SVBLA Scholarship award ceremony

Iroha, an accountant, producer and entrepreneur expressed the importance of filtering out negative influences, who often try to derail the mission of others in one way or another.

The entrepreneur told scholarship recipients that they should “never allow or invite any of this negativity to influence your future path. Instead, use it as fuel to shine and excel”.

He also advised them to set incremental goals and work consistently at them.

“ Often failure will lead to success and many highly successful entrepreneurs have failed a few times before reaching their goals. We need to learn from our failures and not quit because of them…by recognising the things we do wrong and recognising failures, we can achieve success,” Iroha said.

Angelique Fitzpatrick, a previous scholarship awardee was also present at this week’s event to offer words of encouragement and share her experience as an SVBLA scholar.

Fitzpatrick received her scholarship in 2008 and is currently studying medicine at the Richmond Gabriel University.

The past recipient congratulated the new scholarship recipients and welcomed them to the “SVBLA scholarship awardee family”.

“Look around, whether the persons are getting the scholarships with you, before you or after you, it is indeed a family,” she said as she shared some of the experiences she had as a result of being awarded the scholarship.

She added that recipients often look out for each other.

Fitzpatrick told scholars that their “journey has just begun”.

“Each of you will take different paths in life. Your journey would be different. I would always like you to say I think I can, and I know I can…you may not know how you’re going to go about it but that’s part of life,” she said.

The previous SVBLA scholar also noted that everyone’s path was different and she encouraged them not to give up as they forge ahead on their individual journeys.

“Even though you might have a stumbling block, that’s just fine. Keep going, press forward and let your fears make you fierce,” she said.

Colin Bacchus, president of the SVBLA Board congratulated all recipients and encouraged them to value their education and make it a priority, as it it will help to shape the rest of their lives.

He also encouraged parents to facilitate the environment that will allow their children to excel.