Jamaican Association Awards Scholarships to Washington, DC area Students

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.

Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States of America, Her Excellency Audrey Marks with recipients of the 2019 Jamaica Nationals Association (JNA) College Student Scholarship Awards Temera Duncan, Kemesha Robinson, Shannell Hibbert, Justine Brahman, and Ashley Medley

Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States of America, Her Excellency Audrey Marks (center) joins the five recipients of the 2019 Jamaica Nationals Association (JNA) College Student Scholarship Award displaying their award certificates, during JNA’s annual College Student Scholarship Awards.  L-R: Temera Duncan, Kemesha Robinson, Shannell Hibbert, Justine Brahman, and Ashley Medley. (Photo Derrick Scott)

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.

Jamaican Nationals Association Gives Scholarships to Five Washington, DC Area College Students

Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States Her Excellence Audrey Marks ; (2nd from left) Dr. Victor Brown, Dean of Business Arts and Social Sciences, for Bergen Community College; President of Jamaican Nationals Association (JNA) Dr Elaine Knight and at far right is multi-platinum Grammy-nominated music producer and founder of Bridge DA Gap Movement, Dr Kevin Cates, joining the awardees and JNA members and others from the Jamaican community in the Washington DC metropolitan area. (Photo Derrick Scott)

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