THE start of a new school year is always a time of anxiety for those parents who have to pinch here and there for cash to provide their children with school supplies.
And with prices for those supplies increasing year after year the financial burden on some parents is heavy. However for parents of 22 students entering secondary school for the first time next month, their financial load has been substantially reduced, thanks to telecommunications company, Digicel.
The company Thursday gave each of those students a monetary donation of $1000 towards the purchase of their school supplies plus a school bag, lunch bag, pencil case and exercise books.
The students who were all successful at the Common Entrance Examinations will be holding on to the awards given them for five years providing that they maintain a 60 percent pass rate at the end of each school year.
Each child was handpicked by a staff member of Digicel who lives in their community. That child had to be deserving of the award.
But being selected for a scholarship and maintaining it for its five year duration is not the same. Hard work and a thirst for knowledge are required, something West Indies and Windward Islands cricketer Johnson Charles tried to impart to the awardees.
Charles, a Digicel endorsee, charged the students to make their parents and their sponsor proud and to use the scholarship to their advantage.
Digicel’s Country Manager, Mrs. Siobhan James-Alexander congratulated the students on their success at the Common Entrance Examination and expressed her company’s pleasure at starting this new journey with them.
She entreated them to listen to their parents and teachers and for them to remember that their five years at secondary school are important years. She counselled them to choose their friends wisely and take their studies seriously.
James-Alexander also advised the students to take up a sport while at secondary school as this will assist them in developing as all-round individuals.
“Digicel understands the importance of each Saint Lucian child having an education especially for the future development of the country. It is because of this that we continue to provide scholarships to those who need it the most and we are proud to say that Digicel has provided over hundreds of scholarships in the past years,” James Alexander said.