by Derrick Scott
Washington, DC – 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 Scholarship Award.
The scholarship winners are Justine Braham and Ashley Medley – Howard University; Temera Duncan and Shannel Hibbert – University of the District of Columbia; and Kemesha Robinson – Bowie State University in Maryland. Each student was awarded a US$800 scholarship.
An initiative of the Washington, D.C.-based Jamaican Nationals Association, the scholarship award was presented at the organization’s annual student reception scholarship awards ceremony held on Saturday, April 6th 2019 at the 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 scholarship and calling the initiative “an outstanding effort in helping students to achieve higher education.”
Marks also congratulated the students urging them that as they acquire higher education they should not forget the important values and principles.
“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 as service to humanity is indeed the most noble endeavour to which one can devote himself”.
“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,” she noted. “As you acquire more education, you must remember that education did not instill those values in you – 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 stated.
The Jamaica Ambassador reserved special praise for the JNA, commending the remarkable role that 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 this year! 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”. As your Ambassador, I along with the staff at the Embassy look forward to continuing the strong partnership that has been forged over the past five decades.
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. The scholarship is awarded to students studying in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.
The event was attended by Embassy of Jamaica staff, students from various District, Maryland & Virginia (DMV) colleges, members of the Jamaican community, and JNA members and officers.