Sixty-two tertiary-level students from Central Clarendon have benefited from tuition support totalling approximately $2.7 million from Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Mike Henry.
The presentation was made at a reception held on Sunday (November 10), at the West Park Community Centre in Clarendon.
The occasion was also used to celebrate the recent conferment of the Order of Jamaica (OJ) on Minister Henry.
In his address at the function, Minister Henry commended the students on their educational achievements and encouraged them to continue to do well.
He pledged his commitment to the development of the constituency and wider parish, citing a number of projects being undertaken in this regard.
“I am going to make sure that we get work done from Sousop Turn to Guinep Tree and in Canaan Heights,” he said, citing the building of a new infant school at a cost of $160 million; expansion of Hazard and Treadlight Primary schools; and construction of a new water supply scheme in Bucknor, on which work has already started.
The Minister said he is targeting distribution of some 300 land titles in the constituency by year end, and is looking to restart the pushcart derby.
Former Councillor, Merlene Daley, in her address, called on the scholarship recipients to make good use of their education.
“There is nothing in the world except good health that’s better than good education. For those of us from humble beginnings…when you go to school, don’t waste time; focus on what you are there to learn. You want to be the best you can be.
“Some of you who got this stipend are the first in your families to go to university, so demonstrate in a meaningful way that you deserve this help,” Ms. Daley said.
She further encouraged the students to help others once they had attained their educational goals.
“It is what you give away to others that will enrich the quality of your lives and will make you a success,” she said.
Final-year medical student at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Kenyata Thomas, expressed gratitude to Mr. Henry on behalf of the recipients.
“Tuition is very expensive, so getting [the assistance] from the MP has been helpful in offsetting the cost and making it easier for me to focus on what is important, and that is my education. I am from Rectory Land and I have an older brother overseas also studying medicine and a younger brother also in university studying economics,” Mr. Thomas said.