Police present scholarship, bursaries to 67 students
Sixty-seven students are the new beneficiaries of scholarships and bursaries awarded in a joint effort by the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF), the Police Cooperative Credit Union (PCCU) and the SVG Ex-Police Association.
In a ceremony held outside the police canteen on Wednesday, August 19, the students, most of who are the children of active or retired police officers received their awards, having been successful at the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) 2020.
“The police scholarship fund began in 1958 so we are into our 62 year of awarding scholarships to the young people of this nation,” Assistant Superintendent of Police Junior Simmons commented. They were joined by the PCCU in 2014, and the Ex-Police Association in 2018.
“These three organisations award the most scholarships to our students outside those that are being offered by the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines. So we are making a significant impact in the education of our nation’s young people,” the ASP said.
During the ceremony, 55 scholarships were handed over, and 12 bursaries. Out of the 55 scholarships given, 53 were awarded by the RSVGPF, and two by the PCCU.
The scholarships will support the children for the next seven years, through secondary school, and, provided they enroll, at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC).
Commissioner of Police (COP) Colin John, who delivered remarks to the children and their parents, commented that the police scholarship “is undoubtedly the biggest and the best scholarship” in the country.
“Several business houses, they would give 4,5,6,10, but nowhere in the margin of 55 and I really want to say that it’s really a herculean task on behalf of the organization to be supporting so many children and making sure that they have the opportunity to have a good education,” he revealed.
The COP explained that the police scholarship is the best because all books are paid for, bought and kept at the police station for pick up by the parents, and they allow for books to be purchased overseas if need be.
The organization also gives a transportation allowance to the students and stationery. They pay for all their exams to exit Secondary School and through college.
To the awardees, John advised them to be disciplined, which means to listen to their teachers, revise, participate, and be respectful to persons and school property.
Additionally, the police also give the top student of their 25 youth clubs assistance with books and school supplies.
Vice President of the PCCU, Station Sergeant Brenton Smith, spoke briefly on behalf of the PCCU.
“Make full use of the scholarship opportunities and continue to make your parents proud as you also set your eyes on the job market and to further your education,” he commented.
Michael Charles, the President of the Ex-police Association, explained that ever since three years ago when they used to proceeds from fundraisers to help students who were successful at CPEA, they have been continuing with the joint effort.
“I am certain that somewhere down the road these bursaries from the Ex-Police Association will soon be blossoming into scholarships. We await that time,” he said.
Alana McMaster, an accomplished athlete, business owner, veteran banker, daughter of a retired police sergeant and past recipient of the scholarship, was selected as the keynote speaker for the ceremony.
“The road to success is paved with many obstacles, overcome them and achieve your goals,” is the theme that she was advising the young children on as they continue their education.
Whatever anyone’s perception of success may be, “We can all be successful. We all have the ability, but there are some obstacles which we must overcome in achieving our goals” McMaster commented.
She advised them that they have to set goals for themselves.
However, the roads are paved with many obstacles, such as finances, time management and peer pressure, she said, while noting that they have been blessed with scholarships which has given them the opportunity to have the material they need to kick start their education.
“These obstacles mentioned may cause you along your journey to change direction, change your goal entirely, you may even be forced to give up but regardless to what the obstacles are, in order to succeed, you must overcome them either by using them as stepping stones or getting rid of them entirely,” McMaster stated.
In overcoming any obstacles, she recommended the IDEA method of Identifying the obstacles, distancing themselves from it, educating themselves with the knowledge to make themselves powerful and then put their plan into action.