St Mary Education Trust rewards eight outstanding students

October 5, 2021

The St Mary Education Trust (SMET), a registered charity to assist the furtherance of education for young people in St Mary, recently awarded eight scholarships under the St Mary Education Trust (SMET) Scholarship Programme.

The ecstatic students received their awards during a virtual awards ceremony held on Thursday, September 9, 2021. 

In keeping with the Jamaica Producers Group (JP) Corporate Social Responsibility policies of prioritising children, health and wellness, the environment and education, JP proudly partnered with the Sydney A. Phillips Scholarship Trust to incorporate the SMET. 

The SMET Trustees were pleased with the high calibre of applications received for the Sydney A. Phillips Memorial Scholarship and the Ernest Johnston Memorial Bursary.
Recipients of the Sydney A. Phillips Scholarship obtained grants valued at $250,000 per annum for the duration of their tertiary studies. 

This year’s awardees are Kevaughn Hinds, a Biotechnology major; Cornelius Ross, a student of Actuarial Science and Food Chemistry major Nicalia Shattock, all from the University of the West Indies and Kawaine Anderson, a Hospitality & Tourism Management major from the University of Technology. 

The 2021 cohort includes three students from 2020 continuing as Sydney A. Phillips Scholars:  Joelle Greensword, an Industrial Engineering major at the Caribbean Maritime University, Ashley Grey, a Sociology major at the University of the West Indies and Xandrea Roach, a law student at the Norman Manley Law School.

Shandre Hinds, a third-year student of Agricultural Production and Food Systems Management at the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) in Portland, was awarded the prestigious Ernest Johnston Memorial Bursary valued at $300,000 granted for one year. This grant is renewable for up to three years upon confirmation of good academic standing.

According to Jeffrey Hall, CEO of Jamaica Producers Group: “This is my favourite day of the year on the calendar. While it is unfortunate that the ceremony was held virtually due to the current climate, it is a reminder to me about how dynamic the world is, and how much change there is. It is so important to participate in the business of educating young people to be ready to change the world even more. We have had applicants from Hospitality, Biotechnology, Food Chemistry, Industrial Engineering and Law and Sociology…it makes me excited to talk about the future.” 

Shandre Hinds discovered her interest in agriculture while interning with a food processing-based company in 2016. She went on to pursue a degree in General Agriculture from CASE but encountered financial hardships that threatened to stall her studies.

Fueled by her desire for higher education; Hinds is excited to read for her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Agricultural Production and Food Systems Management at CASE thanks to the bursary from the SMET. 

“I am so very thankful that the selection committee took the time out to meet with me and saw my potential. My mother actually cried when she heard the news, she was so excited that I was successful. I am so happy.” she said.

Undeterred by the views of her peers of the industry, a confident Hinds stated, “You should not watch what people say, there is a stigma that agriculture is just a farmer out in the fields fork and hoe. It is more than that. Agriculture is far more advanced and modernised. I am very passionate about it.”

While extending gratitude to the SMET on behalf of fellow awardees, Kawaine Anderson shared, “This well-needed financial assistance means that we have one less thing to stress about in the midst of an arduous pandemic. I wish to applaud the donors, trustees and Directors of SMET for their commitment to the development of St Mary’s human capital even in the midst of the pandemic.”

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