Five students of Jamaican heritage, who are attending colleges and universities in the United States, have been awarded the 2019 Jamaican Nationals Association (JNA) College Student Scholarships.
The winners are Justine Braham and Ashley Medley, of Howard University; Temera Duncan and Shannel Hibbert, University of the District of Columbia; and Kemesha Robinson, Bowie State University in Maryland. They each received a scholarship worth US$800.
The scholarships were presented at the organisation’s annual reception ceremony, held on Saturday, April 6, at Chevy Chase, Maryland, residence of the Ambassador of Jamaica to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey P. Marks.
Ambassador Marks, who delivered the keynote address, commended the JNA for creating the scholarships, calling the initiative “an outstanding effort in helping students to achieve higher education”.
She also congratulated the students and called on them not to forget important values and principles as they go forward.
“I encourage you to continue to aim high and never abandon the pursuit of your dreams. May I also encourage you, as beneficiaries of the goodwill of others, to also give back to others in need, giving someone else such opportunity in the future,” the ambassador said, noting that the noblest endeavour, is to devote oneself to “service to humanity”.
“Education will not make you a more moral person; education will not tell you how to be a person of integrity; it will not make you kind, neither will it make you sensitive to the needs and interests of others. You acquired those values from home, from church, from your family, friends and peers. As educated persons, you must ensure that you hold yourself to those values and that you pass them on to those that are around you,” she added.
The Ambassador commended the JNA for the remarkable role it has played for almost five decades in the Washington metropolitan area, in enhancing the welfare of Jamaicans both in the diaspora and back at home.
“Congratulations on your Golden Anniversary. It is my hope that this year will be one of renewal of commitment to your mission as well as determination to provide continued service to Jamaicans in the diaspora and your beloved homeland,” she said.
The JNA President, Dr. Elaine Knight, in her remarks, reported that through its student outreach programme, the JNA also works with the Embassy of Jamaica to facilitate opportunities for fellowships and mentoring relationships between “our university and college students and our Jamaican professional and diplomatic community within the Washington metropolitan area”.
She explained that the awards are based on high academic excellence, outstanding community service and financial need.
Source: Jamaica Information Service