West Indies Alumina Company (Windalco) has invested $8 million in a back-to-school programme benefiting students in St Catherine, Manchester, St Ann, Clarendon, and St Elizabeth.
As part of the programme, 41 students attending tertiary institutions received scholarships and grants to assist with tuition costs. Of that number, 21 were repeat applicants.
The company also awarded seven students who were successful in the recent sitting of the Grade Six Achievement Test with full one-year scholarships. The awardees were required to write an essay outlining the importance of railway safety tips as part of Windalco’s ongoing ‘Facts for the Tracks’ public-education campaign.
Speaking at the official handover ceremony at the Ewarton Works Sports Club last Friday, Windalco’s human resources director Glendon Johnson urged the students to make good on the company’s investment.
“Education is the greatest and most powerful vehicle through which one can improve oneself as an independent human being. The company believes by assisting students, we are investing in the future of Jamaica,” said Johnson.
He expressed the hope that the company will continue to prosper so that it can continue to assist students.
In addition to the assistance granted to tertiary and first-year high-school students, several students residing in communities within Windalco’s operational areas received grants to purchase textbooks and other back-to-school supplies.
ENCOURAGED TO DO WELL
Students are eligible for future financial assistance from the company once they maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average.
Sherifa Cohen, a four-time recipient and final-year civil engineering student at the University of Technology, encouraged his colleagues to do well.
“Knowledge gives us the power to dream of a better future and the confidence needed to pursue a full education which will help generations to come. When companies like Windalco invest in us, it is that single opportunity that elevates many of us from mediocrity to greatness. This gives us the impetus to reach for something greater,” said Cohen.
She thanked the company for investing in the hopes and dreams of Jamaicans and for “being a beacon of hope for youth development”.