Eighty students were the most recent recipients of scholarship awards, in the sum of approximately US$9.5 million, for Island Scholarships and scholarships to various programmes at the St George’s University (SGU), at an award ceremony held at the Grenada Youth Centre, in Morne Rouge, St George, on 16 May 2019.
The Government of Grenada, in partnership with SGU, awarded the scholarships. The awards to SGU included 5 for Pre-Medicine; 24 in the field of Medicine; 1 for Veterinary Medicine and 2 for the Master’s in Public Health Degree. In the Arts & Sciences division, 3 awards were presented for Bachelor’s Degrees programmes in the area of Accounting and Finance; 8 for Biology; 10 for Information Technology; 4 each for International Business and Psychology and 1 each for Tourism and Hospitality Management, Sociology and Management. There were 11 recipients for the associate’s degree in Nursing. Apart from this, there were 6 Island Scholars awarded.
Scholarship recipients were thankful for the awards and excited about their future careers, with the additional burden of funding their tertiary education now a thing of the past Sameth Mitchell, a resident of St David, is completing the first year of her bachelor’s degree programme in Sociology, at SGU.
“It was a happy moment, because for me it takes away a big burden off my back, because I’m a mother of 3 children and studying, at this time, will be very difficult, if you don’t have the finance, so I am very grateful,” Mitchell said. “To people and mainly young people out there, sometimes the road to success is not easy. You will encounter a lot of bumps along the way, but I will say to you, never give up on your dreams. Go hard. Go after it.”
Nick Nicholas, of St Patrick, is in the first year of his Bachelor of Science Degree programme, in Information Technology at SGU. He hopes to contribute to the development of his country. “I’m just really hoping to pay back, you know, for the investment they made in me,” he said.
Kelley Calliste, of St Andrew, is a former teacher, who is now realising his dream of being a medical doctor at SGU. After completing his first degree in Biology, also at SGU, he applied to the medical programme and began, in January 2018.
“Coming from poor, humble beginnings, like myself, there is no way myself, or my family could have assisted me, in financing a medical degree, so the assistance that is presented here today, to myself and all the other recipients, of the varying awards and so, but of course they go a very long way in defraying costs,” he said. “We are just too grateful for the Government of Grenada, for seeing it fit to bestow such on us as recipients today.”
Shanique Strachan, of St George, is finally getting the opportunity to pursue her desired career path of nursing, at SGU. She specifically wants to be a nurse practitioner. Therefore, Strachan said she ensured that she maintained good grades.
“The nursing programme, itself, it’s very, very good. It’s very detailed. It’s outstanding. The lecturers are fantastic,” she said. “I made sure I had to do my absolute best, to keep my GPA above a certain standard, in order to apply and get through with the scholarship and with the scholarship now, I know I’m bound to the government for a few years, which is good, because I want to give back.”
Toya Ameda and Trevon St Bernard, of St George, are 2 of the 2019 Island Scholars. Ameda is a former top Grenada Brain Bee Challenge contestant, who has continued on a path of academic excellence. She is now on her way, like Calliste, to becoming a medical doctor, at SGU.
“I always had that passion that interest in medicine. Hopefully in the future, I’ll become a surgeon, probably cardio,” Ameda said, noting the importance of the scholarship. “It’s a great honour, as well, to receive this scholarship to aid in helping my mom pay for my education.”
St Bernard intends to pursue a career in international law, which he sees as a necessity for Grenada. He said the Island Scholarship advances the pace at which he can complete his education.
“It’s really helpful because I know, if I had not received the award I probably would have to work several years to study, but this award is definitely going to help me advance my academic and career goals,” he said.
Speaking at the award ceremony, Hon. Pamela Moses, Minister with responsibility for Tertiary Education, Skills Development and Education Outreach, congratulated the awardees and thanked their support network, for their contribution to the awardees success. She also highlighted government’s focus on the development of human capital as critical to forwarding its development agenda of social and economic transformation and the key role played by SGU.
“On behalf of my government and the people of Grenada, I extend grateful thanks and appreciation to St George’s University for the long and enduring partnership that they’ve had with our government – the Government of Grenada. Through these awards and other initiatives of theirs, they have contributed significantly to our development agenda,” she said.
Hon. Moses also outlined an additional scholarship award requirement, for awardees. “We will, as of this year, formalise a structure whereby you will be called to undertake community service-type activities, during the school summer vacation, as a way of giving back,” she said.
Many awardees have expressed interest making their contribution to Grenada. Calliste said, “I always see myself as someone who likes to give back, to humanity and I would have done so, whilst I was a teacher, but I wanted another avenue, where I can do the same thing, but in a different way, in terms of helping to save lives and restore health to people.”
St George’s University