More than 5,500 students and teachers from across the island nominated
Two hundred students and teachers have been empowered to achieve their educational goals, thanks to Wisynco’s WATA Jamaica 60th Education Initiative.
As beneficiaries of the WATA Jamaica 60th Education Initiative, 120 students and 80 teachers each received a grant valued at $60,000. The grant is the result of the strong support of Jamaicans who chose WATA between July and October of this year in affirmation of Wisynco’s commitment to direct $1 from the sale of each WATA toward a fund of J$12 million.
More than 5,500 students and teachers from across the island were nominated by parents, colleagues, neighbours, and themselves. In making the final selection, factors such as demographics, parish representation, intended use of funds, and completing all sections of the entry form were considered.
Nominations were open from September 2 to October 20 and attracted the largest number of responses from St Catherine, followed by Clarendon and then Kingston, with the smallest number of nominations coming from Trelawny. Grants were awarded to high school and tertiary school students and to teachers employed to institutions at all levels.
Intended use of the grants
The most frequently stated intention for use of the grant by both teachers and students was either securing or furthering their education. Thirty per cent of students’ nominations stated that the grants would be used to pay outstanding school fees, while 34 per cent of teachers’ applications were aimed at financing further studies.
Acquiring text books and school supplies was the second highest need indicated by both teachers and students. Statements on nomination forms submitted for and by teachers and students have provided insight into the usefulness of grant funding for educational purposes.
A university student nominated by someone stated: “Jamaica has many bright minds who, unfortunately, cannot further their education and achieve the careers they desire due to financial constraints. By establishing this grant and giving the future a chance to become just that (the future), you’re also contributing to Jamaica’s success down the line.”
A teacher, who self-nominated, wrote: “Most times our young adults don’t matriculate to the next level due to financial problems and this grant would benefit both teachers and students in more ways than anyone would ever imagine. For me, as a teacher, this grant will definitely aid in helping me to pay back my student loan debts and to help me travel to school on a daily basis.”
Francois Chalifour, Wisynco’s director of marketing, explained that “this grant is in line with a priority area for most Jamaicans and a cornerstone of individual and national development. We have seen the impact this programme has had by way of the testimonials of the beneficiaries, but also, the data show that both teachers and students place completing and furthering their studies as number one priority”.