Thirty-seven of the Caribbean’s brightest minds will be part of the Sandals Foundation Care for Kids scholarship program this school year at a value of approximately US $54,000.
The 5-year programme which started in 2009 is an integral part of the philanthropic organization’s investment in the academic progress of children, with some 201 students benefitting from the programme to date.
Now, as islands across the region gear up for a multi-modal approach to the 2021/2022 academic year, 23 secondary school students and 14 tertiary level school students will have the opportunity to continue their academic journeys free of charge.
“Education is a key pillar of our work at the Sandals Foundation, so a program like Care for Kids which is specifically designed to support high performing students whose families are in need of financial support, is a fundamental part of the work that we do,” said Heidi Clarke, Executive Director at the Sandals Foundation.
The programme, Clarke explains, while primarily focussing on secondary level education, will support the academic journey of students into tertiary studies. “Once a child enters the programme, we stay with them to support their needs once they are able to maintain their grades. We also consider new tertiary students who are in need of financial support. Our aim is to really help students develop the strongest academic foundation possible.”
The programme covers the cost of tuition, books, uniforms, annual medical and tutoring. In an effort to ensure the holistic development of the students’ personal growth, the programme also offers mentorship and requires recipients to be involved in community outreach projects and sports.
The Fealt Impact
Over the years, past recipients have gone on to work in the fields of education, medicine, finance and operations.
For 22-year-old Peter Thompson, the programme was a welcome surprise. “As a student from a rural community in St. Ann, I thought the possibility of getting a scholarship was little to none. Being able to get a scholarship and defying the odds is something very impactful for me and the young people in my age group. It empowers them and tells them that no matter the circumstances, no matter the challenges they’re facing, the opportunities for getting a scholarship are strong. You just have to work hard.”
Thompson is presently interviewing to move ahead with his career as an accountant.
The Care For Kids Scholarship Programme is made possible through the generous donations of Sandals and Beaches Resorts guests as well as donors across the world who believe in the power of education and wish to support its development in the region.
In addition to the annual scholarship programme, the Sandals Foundation works to support the sustainable development of the region’s education sector through teacher training, literacy, special needs and technological support, and infrastructural development.