Company spends $1.6 M in annual awards
Some sixty students from primary, prep and all age schools who performed at the top of their class in the recent Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) have received grants and scholarships from Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners.
The awards were presented during the company’s annual GSAT awards ceremony held on Wednesday, August 20, at the Cardiff Hotel and Spa in Runaway Bay, St. Ann.
The scholarships were represented to the top GSAT boy and girl at some 30 schools, located in company’s operational areas in north and south west St. Ann.
Director of property and legal affairs at Noranda Jamaica, David Wong Ken, told the gathering that the company has spent approximately $8-M this year on scholarships on bursaries for students entering secondary and tertiary institutions as well as on its student summer work programme.
During Wednesday’s ceremony, those students who performed above their class and who have been placed at high schools, each received $25,000 scholarships. Additionally, two students from Brown’s Town Primary who emerged as the overall top performers in the region, in addition to their scholarships, walked away spanking new Dell laptop computers.
The overall top girl, Zorian Clarke, who will be heading to her first choice, St. Hilda’s, said she was overwhelmed to have received the scholarship as well as the overall top performing girl prize.
“I feel very happy,” the 12-year-old with a 96.6 average told the North Coast Times. Clarke who aspires to become a teacher or pediatrician is also the recipient of two other scholarships including one from First Regional Cooperative Credit Union.
Her schoolmate Silas Coley was also excited to have received the scholarship from Noranda Jamaica as well as being named overall top boy.
Silas told The Times that he was overjoyed and although he said he is a little worried about starting high school, his aim is to continue making his family proud.
“I feel very excited,” said Coley, who averaged 95.2 and who will be attending York Castle. Coley said he wants to become a mechanical engineer.
Mr Wong Ken said Noranda Jamaica is committed to education and he said the company has made education a top priority. He said the GSAT scholarships are valued at $1.6-M.
He said the company was honoured and pleased to have the opportunity to awards the students whom, he said, have done exceptionally well and who should be commended.
MPs LAUD THEM
Members of Parliament, Dr. Dayton Campbell (North West) and Keith Walford (South West) also shared in the occasion with the students. In their individual address, both MPs lauded the students for their outstanding GSAT performance and encouraged them to continue to strive for excellence.
Community relations officer at the Ministry of Education region 3, Karlene Segree, also challenged the students to excel in high school. She said the ministry was pleased with the work being done by Noranda Jamaica.
Guest speaker at the function was Rosalee Gage-Grey, executive director at the Child Development Agency. Mrs Gage-Grey said Noranda should be commended for recognizing the awardees and also for exhibiting good corporate responsibility.
She told the awardees that their educational journey has just begun and she challenged the children never to give up on their dreams and continue working hard.
“Stay focused on your goals. We all have goals but we have to work very hard to achieve them,” she told the awardees. She also encouraged the children to take steps to protect themselves and urged parents to ensure that children are left in a safe environment.
The awardees were entertained by children their own age, including Kisjaun Ward a JCDC gold medal winner and the Watt Town All Age dancers. The 2014 Noranda Jamaica community concert series winner Joel Wray also entertained the gathering.
Following the ceremony the students and their teachers and parents were provided with refreshment.