Fourteen students who will be sitting Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams in May/June this year have had part of their exam tab settled by LASCO Financial Services Limited (LFSL) through its LASCO Money brand.
For the second year in a row, the company awarded students up to $10,000 each to cover the requisite fees to sit principles of business, principles of accounts, information technology, economics, and French or Spanish.
The recipients, two each from Titchfield, Dinthill, Ocho Rios, Papine and Merl Grove high schools as well as Cornwall College, were required to have good grades, good records of attendance, punctuality and exemplary behaviour. Community involvement and extra-curricular activities are also taken into consideration.
The awards were made late last year, but LASCO Money hosted the students on Wednesday in a event it has styled Lunch and Learn, which allowed them the opportunity to interact with company executives, get crucial career advice, and learn about budgeting, goal planning and entrepreneurship.
Explaining the concept of the initiative, Nicolene Worthy-Donaldson, marketing manager at LFSL, said: “Our scholarship recipients are selected based on a number of criteria. However, a key area we take into consideration is that each scholar displays an interest in the areas of business or finance. This is so that our executives who engage our scholars during the Lunch and Learn workshop are able to share life lessons, relevant experience, and provide pertinent information to guide these young people along their career paths.”
One student, Moesha Ricketts of Merl Grove High School, who is the public relations officer for the school’s business club, took one key message from Managing Director Jacinth Hall-Tracey’s presentation.
“My interpretation from her presentation was: don’t limit yourself to failure. Don’t settle for a little; aim high. That’s what I took away from today,” Ricketts shared.
Jade-Pink Deans, a scholarship recipient from Dinthill High School and one of seven children in her household, wants to become an entrepreneur.
“It (Lunch and Learn) has made me realise that maybe instead of doing so many other irrelevant things, I should start prioritising and managing my time, and creating schedules and timetables and just work towards what I truly want in life,” she said.
Speaking to the financial assistance from LASCO, Deans said, “My mom was so grateful, she actually emailed LASCO and told them thanks.”
The 14 awards made in 2017 was an increase in the number of students who benefited from LFSL scholarships, LASCO said, noting that 10 exam fee scholarships were awarded in 2016.
“The increase has marked the company’s decision to augment its support in the area of youth development as part of its corporate social responsibility efforts,” LASCO said Friday.
The 2017-2018 exam fee awardees are: Shanoya Fearon and Devoy Stanford of Ocho Rios High School; Lamar Holgate and Janouy Willis of Titchfield High School; Moesha Ricketts and Amanda Fenner of Merl Grove High School; Jade-Pink Deans and Tyreek Walker of Dinthill High School; Shakeem Thompson and Shahid Burke of Cornwall College; Monique Bennett and Krisanna Ellis of Papine High School; and Travis Campbell and Dwight Christie of Calabar High School.