High Achieving Caribbean–American students benefit from community scholarship program

MIAMI – Five high school students of Caribbean descent were recipients of tertiary level scholarships awarded by the members of the Caribbean Educators’ Association (CARE)) at the fourth annual scholarship banquet held last Friday (Mar. 20) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Palm Beach.
The scholarship recipients are Farah Ali, Laderne Cadeus, Michka Barham, Kimberly Williams and Jhonny Thermidor, are all high school seniors and residents of West Palm Beach communities. All will begin college studies in the Fall semester in September.

Consul General Sandra Grant Griffiths in her address, congratulated the high achievers whom she described as deserving as all had maintained high academic grades, were actively involved in extracurricular activities as well as community service. All five students will begin college studies in Florida State in September.

Expressing appreciation to members of the Association, the Consul General told them that their support is of inestimable value in shaping the lives of our future generation. This, she continued, is evident of CARE’s primary mission of assisting young scholars to take the next step towards the advancement of their educational and personal goals.

Mrs. Griffiths told the audience that the contribution of the Diaspora should not be measured only by sending remittances to their home states, but as a symbol of caring – that has long been a hallmark of the Jamaican migrant ethnic group.

She noted that the community associations have demonstrated that their outreach efforts go beyond giving to their home states but also to the Caribbean Diaspora. This is reflected in the support from the various medical missions, scholarship programs and projects resulting from fundraisers. For this, the Government and Consulate applaud you, she added.

Although Jamaican nationals are dominant in membership of the four-year old organization, Mrs. Griffiths said that Jamaicans do not feel any more patriotic about their home state, explaining that in looking at our individual national agenda, we shared common concerns and challenges, provision of services and representations on behalf of very similar migrant-based constituents. She also reminded them to take pride in the positions they held in their respective communities acknowledging that education was the basis for their success.

Referring to developments in education in Jamaica, the Consul General spoke of the Government’s National Education initiatives to improve the delivery of education arising out of the deliberations of the National Planning Summit General Assembly. These included the National Education Inspectorate charged with monitoring quality in schools, the National Parenting Support Commission which will manage and strengthen the relationship between home and school and the National Education Trust designed to provide sustainable infrastructure for education.

Other developments, she continued, reinforces Government’s firm commitment to the provision of inclusive education, embracing the view that children who learn together, also learn to live together and help foster a cohesive society.

Realizing that the vision for education cannot be done by Government alone, the Consul General commended associations for the assistance provided to the various nations and local communities. “We must seek out and take strength from the positive accomplishments of our country and by our people” she added.

In his welcome remarks, the President of CARE, Mr. Vivian Gordon, reinforced the commitment of the members as they remained motivated in their pursuit to help children realize their dreams.

CARE Association was started in January 2005, a network of educators and other professionals offering assistance and support in the field of education.

Since its inception, CARE has awarded an additional 18 scholarships to other high achievers of Caribbean-American descent, in the Palm Beach community.

CARE members have also adopted the Woodlawn School for Special Education in Mandeville.

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