Overwhelmingly thankful – this sums up the reaction of three students of UTech, Jamaica’s Caribbean School of Nursing (CSON) who on Thursday became the first UTech, Ja recipients of fully funded scholarships towards their educational pursuits from UTech, Jamaica’s Chancellor, Lloyd Carney through his Carney Global Ventures Foundation.
The students who are all enrolled in the BSc in Nursing course of study at the Papine Campus were presented with their awards by Carney during a brief handing over ceremony inside the President’s Conference Room. The recipients are: first year students, Sudeek Sloley and Cameal Walker along with the third year student Katanya Allen.
While the collective value of the scholarships was not disclosed, Chancellor Lloyd Carney indicated that the awards will “take care of everything…food, books, tuitions, uniforms” for the three students.
Commenting on the comprehensive nature of the scholarships Carney stated, “I want this to be a holistic scholarship.” This he noted having observed that his Foundation has been providing scholarships for “over thirty years” to other institutions locally, but somehow, “there is hardship that is still not resolved.” He noted that in some instances some students, after receiving scholarships, “can’t find uniforms, they can’t find money for housing, they can’t find money for food.” Mr. Carney went further to state that providing scholarships that would cover everything was a deliberate move in order to eliminate such challenges for these first-time UTech, Ja recipients of the Carney Global Ventures Foundation Scholarship.
“I don’t want these young people to have to worry. I want them to focus on school…studying…getting their work done” he insisted. The four-yearlong Bachelor of Science in Nursing at UTech, Jamaica currently amounts to $588,590 while accommodation fees stand roughly at $220,000 per annum.
The students who have demonstrated excellent academic achievements are required to maintain at least a B average to keep the scholarship for the duration of their degree programme. While another condition of the scholarship requires that the students remain on island for at least two years after they have completed their studies, Carney noted that flexibility and due considerations will be exercised so as not to deprive the students of meaningful opportunities.
Overtaken by her emotions, scholarship recipient Sudeek Sloley explained what the scholarship meant for her. “I am overwhelmed. I didn’t really have much assistance because my mother passed last year when I was in sixth form when I was doing my CAPE exams. I had to take a year off to get myself some assistance. I had to get a full job as a telephone receptionist and clerk at a hardware store while coping with the grief” she explained. Nonetheless, Solely explained that she still fell short on her tuition and was worried that she might not be able to complete her degree. She disclosed that while she learnt of the scholarship from her Dean and Head of School, it was only upon the Chancellor’s announcement about the extent of the award that she truly breathed a sigh of relief. “I was questioning what was going to happen because we are going to have practicum, we are going to have to find fares for transportation” she shared. Now having all these and other expenses covered, she describes the Chancellor’s intervention as “an answered prayer.”
Katanya Allen who was also overcome with emotions, in her expression of gratitude stated that she aims to bring hope to trauma patients through her service in the nursing profession in the future. She too noted that “I did not expect that the scholarship would cover tuition, clothing, housing, food…everything essentially.” Allen added that, “I have not gotten support from my parents at all since this journey has started…so this has been a blessing.”
Cameal Walker also noted her fear and anxiety about how she would meet the financial requirements for the degree. She shared, “I am very excited about this opportunity because at first I was wondering if I would need to take a leave of absence because I have no financial help.” The youngster who hails from Westmoreland explained that her mother who is challenged with a health issue is not physically able to care for her and neither is her father who faces financial difficulties. She aims to make the best use of the scholarship and hopes to positively impact the nursing sector by extending the utmost care to patients and someday offer similar assistance to needy individuals.
Dean, College of Health Sciences congratulated the scholarship recipients and encouraged them to continue to do great work to maintain their awards with an outlook to be positive contributors to the nursing profession.
“Congratulations to these young ladies. You are privileged to be receiving full scholarships. I want to wish you all the best as you work hard to maintain your B average and above…we are looking forward to seeing you on the Dean’s List.” She also thanked the Chancellor for investing in the students’ education and by extension, the College of Health Sciences.
Dr. Campbell noted that “our output is well sought after.” She stated that the aid through the Foundation will help to enhance the output of renowned reputable nursing graduates from the University of Technology, Jamaica which the Chancellor interjected, are “worldclass”.
This being the first scholarship of its kind to UTech, Ja students under the Carney Global Ventures Foundation, Chancellor Lloyd Carney noted that the plan is to continue the initiative at the university in the coming years and intends to invite other sponsors to join in providing similar support.
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