THE annual call has been sent out by 1st National Bank of St. Lucia, soliciting submissions of applications for two scholarship programmes for this year.
The announcement was made at the bank’s head office in Rodney Bay on Tuesday morning.
Open for submission are the Ferrel Charles Scholarship – now in its third year and aimed at children aged 10-13 — and the Francis J. Carasco Scholarship — in existence since 1992 and aimed at students starting university.
Requirements for the Ferrel Charles Scholarships are as follows:
Student must be a child of a 1st National Bank employee/stakeholder/customer
Student must fall within the top 50 achievers island-wide based on Common Entrance Examinations within the year in which the scholarship is to be awarded
Student must demonstrate positive qualities of discipline and exemplary behaviour based on recommendations from the principal of their former primary school
Customers and stakeholders must also be in good standing with the bank and a maximum of two scholarships will be awarded annually to eligible students. Scholarship holders will be entitled to a full scholarship and a laptop.
Requirements for the Francis J. Carasco Scholarships are as follows:
Student must be a stakeholder/child of stakeholder
Student must be aged 18-30
Student must demonstrate qualities of integrity, self-discipline and public spiritedness
Student must possess obvious leadership qualities manifested through active participation in voluntary social services in school and/or community-based organizations, particularly in areas of sports, culture, religion and social work
Student must have attained academic excellence based on performance at the Secondary School Certificate Examinations, as well as the advanced level School Certificate Examination or equivalent, achieving a minimum of two plus general papers in the latter.
Student must have gained admission or provisional admission to UWI Open Campus or an approved regional university.
Scholarships will be awarded to students wishing to pursue studies in Banking, Finance, Accounting, Business, Management, Computer Science, Economics, Marketing, Human Resource Management or other leading banking-related fields on a triennial basis.
Scholarship holders will be entitled to funding for tuition fees, books, supplies, out of pocket expenses and medical insurance, as well as one return airline ticket, boarding and lodging.
Robert Fevrier of the bank’s Marketing Department said education is key and the bank makes it their responsibility to nurture the practical and academic skills of the nation’s youth.
“It is an initiative that we are very proud of as an indigenous bank because we believe in our youth,” he said. “We believe in our young people and education is at the forefront of what we do as an indigenous institution.”
Angel d’Auvergne, a former recipient of the Francis J. Carasco scholarship, is currently employed with the bank as the Corporate and Lending Manager based at the head office.
“1st National Bank has truly given me an opportunity to enhance my career development and for that I am very grateful,” she said.
Fevrier said d’Auvergne is testament that the programmes are extremely beneficial.
“We want to give young St. Lucians the opportunity to further their education. We believe in education is key, education is the way to go, education is very important, and that is why we actually have Angel here to speak to her experience, to the point where somebody is listening and says if she can do it, I can do it as well. So the important thing to do is apply,” said Fevrier.
Fevrier said submissions over the years have been disappointing. He said that in the past, the low responses were understandable because notices were only disseminated at the bank’s branches. However, the numbers did not pick up even after new management and tactics were introduced.
“We believe that it’s not sufficient,” Fevrier said. “We really need to get the message out there because we have not done an official launch. We put the notices out there every year and people come in and apply for it. We do the presentations but have never done the official launching and really putting it out there to encourage people.”
Upon completion of the Carasco Scholarship, students are required to complete a further two years’ work experience at the bank to experience the different areas in the banking sector.
Following this stint, they can then decide to stay on at the said bank or move forward to their desired employment elsewhere.
The Ferrel Charles Scholarship has awarded six scholarships and the Francis Carasco Scholarship has awarded seven.