The Manchester Co-operative Credit Union (MCCU) in Mandeville, Jamaica, has awarded grants to 29 students totalling $1.9m (£115,000) to assist their secondary and higher education.
Twenty-one students receive the MCCU’s Primary Exit Profile (PEP) Bursary award and seven receive the Sydney Carter Bursary. One student – Javid Bryan – receives the Sydney Carter Scholarship, enabling him to become the first person in his family to attend university.
Mr Bryan, who will study journalism at the University of the West Indies (UWI), said: “Growing up in a less privileged family with its financial and academic struggles helped me to realise the true value of education.
“This award gives me the opportunity to develop skills that will not only serve the journalism community but also the wider society.”
The late Sydney Carter, for whom the scholarship is named, was instrumental in the formation of the MCCU and served as a vice-principal at Holmwood Technical High School in the town of Christina.
This year saw a record number of 76 applications for the scholarship – as well as a record 30 applications for the PEP bursary for those about to enter high school.
MCCU president Alexander Bourne said: “We have to invest in our people and ensure they are equipped with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and levels of awareness that will make them participate successfully in society. The Manchester Co-operative Credit Union believes in our people and the value of education and that is why we make this significant investment.”
Addressing the awards ceremony at the Mandeville Hotel, Teacher’s Association (JTA) president-elect Jasford Gabriel urged the students to make the best use of their talents.
“You are blessed to be specially honoured in this way and I want to encourage you to take full advantage of this opportunity,” he said. “I want to encourage our young people to ensure that you make the best use of the talents that you have.”