WASHINGTON, DC – Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States Her Excellency Audrey Marks has lauded the Jamaica Howard University Affinity Network (JHUAN) organization. For providing in excess of US$250,000 in scholarship support to needy Jamaican students at Howard University over a five-year period.
The Jamaican Ambassador congratulated this year’s recipients totaling twenty students who were awarded a total of US$80,000 in scholarship funding for students attending Howard University..
“Having been involved in the conception of this fantastic initiative five years ago, I am truly proud of the remarkable strides made in such a short time. Especially, providing support of over $ 12,000,000 to Jamaican students at Howard University.”
She was speaking on Saturday September 16, at the HUES of BLUS 5th annual Scholarship fundraisers reception held at the Ambassador’s residence in Chevy Chase Maryland.
Ambassador Marks said the JHUAN Howard University scholarship fund created to serve the Jamaican community was, “a very timely and useful initiative which, I hope can be replicated at other institutions of learning across the US with large Jamaican population.”
She encouraged the students to take full advantage of the mentoring and networking opportunities provided by JHUAN, thereby expanding their horizons and gaining the requisite tools to launch their careers.
Historically, Howard has been the University of Choice for hundreds of Jamaican citizens. Many of whom have remained here in the D.M.V area or have returned to Jamaica and have done exceptionally well professionally.
In his remarks, Chairman of JHUAN, Don Christian said the organization was pleased to award the scholarships to deserving students attending Howard who are pursuing various degrees.
He pointed out that the scholarship program was a part of a bigger effort to inspire, empower and motivate Jamaican students, and to bolster their trajectory at Howard, granting them broader access and opportunities.
As an alumnus who has benefited greatly from Howard University, it is important that we look for ways to support our academic institutions and pay it forward,” said, Mr. Christian.
“As JHUAN continues to grow its financial support and broaden its impact, I am honored as a Howard alumnus to support our Jamaican students who have navigated significant challenges to be able to pursue their studies at Howard.”
Christian recalled the history of the scholarship program launched in 2018 as a result of a collaboration between Ambassador Marks and then Howard University president Dr. Wayne Frederick.
Since then, a total of 64 scholarships have been awarded totaling $254,000.
In 2023, scholarship applications increased by 50% while fundraising grew at an average of 36% annually demonstrating the critical need for increased financial support.
In light of this Mr. Christian announced the launch of the “Bancroft ‘Banky’ Gordon” Scholarship in honour of Gordon who was a Howard Alumnus, a legal luminary and an outstanding Jamaican athlete.
Ambassador Marks kicked off the “Banky Gordon fund” with a donation of $5,000 from the Jamaica Promise Foundation.
JHUAN Scholarship Recipients
This year’s JHUAN Scholarship recipients include Aaliyah Anderson, Kathy Bedasse, Damario Berry, Nazarah Bridgewater, Gabrielle Clarke, Sarah Cole, Alrick Davis, Yashieka Fearon, Aliyah Hamilton, Paul Jones, Lori-Ann Knight, Huonna McCarthy, Danielle McIntosh, Ashley Medley, Shamona Morris, Jade Mullings, Tabitha Norton, Naila Scott, Lori-Lee Stennett and Amanda Wright.
Ambassador Marks and former president of Howard university Dr Wayne Frederick was awarded with the JHUAN Founders Award for their role in the formation of the organization while the JHUAN Impact award went to the Executive Director of Special Olympics Caribbean Imitative Loran Josephine Bell and Managing Partner of Burt Smith and Company Mr. Burt Smith.