Education
JM | Oct 12, 2021

GK Foundation awards over J$24m in scholarships for 2021 academic year

/ Our Today

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GK Digital Institute established; 10 internships in Digital Technology to be offered in 2022

Alanis Blake and Davian Harriott

GraceKennedy Foundation (GKF) has awarded scholarships valued at more than J$24 million to 92 Jamaican tertiary students for the 2021-2022 academic year. 

The 2021 GK scholarship recipients were announced during a virtual awards ceremony held October 7 and hosted live online via Zoom. 

Grace Burnett, CEO of GraceKennedy Financial Group Limited (GKFG), addressed the 2021 GK scholars directly during the ceremony, stating: “At GraceKennedy we are extremely proud of the contribution that our scholars have made to our country over the past 38 years. We have no doubt that, in due course, we will be equally proud of your achievements and your role in nation building.” 

DEVELOPMENT OF IT CAPACITY IN JAMAICA

Burnett also announced that the GraceKennedy Group had recently established a digital institute “to help meet the future digital needs of our organisation and to further contribute to the development of IT capacity in Jamaica”.

She added: “At GK we have recognised how important it is that we are well-equipped for the future. Especially within GK’s financial business, where I work, the future is digital … . The Digital Institute will offer internships, scholarships and employment opportunities for tertiary students studying data science, mobile software development, digital marketing, user interface design, customer research and graphic design. Ten students will be selected for a summer internship at GK in 2022.”

Latonya Clayton, Malik Brown, and Matthew Baker.

In her remarks, Caroline Mahfood, CEO, GKF, congratulated the students on their outstanding performances in the 2020-2021 academic year. She highlighted Davian Harriott, 2019 GK/Jamaica Scholar who had achieved a 4.03 GPA, Latonya Clayton, 2019 Rafael Diaz Scholar, who achieved a 4.05 GPA and Matthew Baker, 2018 GK/Rafael Diaz Merit Scholar who was the top performer for the year with a 4.09 GPA. She also congratulated Alanis Blake, 2019 GK/UTech Scholar, for completing the highest number of volunteer hours (163 hours) and recognised Malik Brown, 2019 Carlton Alexander Merit Scholar who was the top volunteer for the GKF Ace With Grace Online Tutoring programme.

Former GK Scholars, Dr Gail Lewis-Mitchell (2005), a general pediatrician practising at Hospiten Montego Bay in St James; Trevaune Baker (2015), a senior accountant who will be joining GK Capital Management Limited on November 1; and Johmar Bennett (2018), who graduated this year and began working at GraceKennedy as a management trainee earlier this month, also offered their encouragement to the new scholars.

They explained how their GraceKennedy scholarships had lifted the financial burden of tertiary study, which helped them to focus on their schoolwork. The former scholars also expressed that, although the current cohort of scholars is not able to attend in-person classes due to the pandemic, they should still network and build strong relationships with their classmates where possible. The GraceKennedy Foundation was established in 1982 to mark the 60th anniversary of GraceKennedy & Company Limited. Its work focuses on promoting healthy lifestyles, educational development, and the protection of the environment.

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