Nadian Whyte is closer to her dream of attaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Networking and Cybersecurity and working in her chosen field thanks to the inaugural University of the Commonwealth Caribbean/National Commercial Bank (UCC/NCB) Dr Rickert Allen Scholarship she received in 2021.
The youngest of seven children for parents of modest means, Nadian credits hard work at secondary school and prayers for the fateful advisory from UCC and the NCB Foundation which confirmed that she would be the first recipient of the scholarship named for the late Dr Rickert Allen, a former president of the UCC and past head of NCB Group’s human resources and facilities division.
Speaking at the second annual Dr Rickert Allen Memorial Lecture hosted by the UCC and NCB recently, Nadian said “Ever since I have been selected, I feel so much closer towards one of my dreams, that of completing my tertiary education. I am the youngest of seven siblings and the first to pursue a tertiary education; that in itself was a motivation to complete university so that I could make a difference in my family. This opportunity is a huge deal for me as I see it as a way of breaking past generational trends and setting a new standard.”
She told guests at the lecture: “The NCB Foundation has been very beneficial. Not only did they make it possible for me to start university, but they’ve also provided me with the necessary educational supplies such as a laptop, books, and writing materials to assist me in my studies. It feels great to be able to complete my assignments and submit them on time from an updated device compared to the obsolete one I had before.”
Addressing potential scholarship awardees she urged, “for those who are hesitant when it comes to applying for a scholarship, I just want to encourage you to make use of the opportunities that come your way.”
“Like myself, you might just wake up one day to an email saying that you were successful in the interview process and just like that, you have a head start. Nothing beats trying. I started university with only a hope and a dream. Today, the NCB Foundation has made that a reality and for that I am truly grateful.”
Available to eligible members of the UCC student body and designed to strengthen the digital footprint of Jamaica, the Dr Rickert Allen Scholarship supports student undergraduate studies towards either a BSC in Innovation and Entrepreneurship or BSc in Networking with Cyber Security including programmes in digital technology, software development and more.
In his address at the lecture, Professor Dennis Gayle, president of the UCC, described Dr Allen as “a champion of lifelong learning, an outstanding and visionary leader who personified effective governance and helped the UCC to move towards national and international institutional accreditation.”
“Dr Allen believed that the quality of a nation’s manpower resources is a critical factor in determining national development and competitiveness and dedicated his life to paying it forward through community service and mentorship,” Professor Gayle declared.
In a message read by Euton Cummings, general manager of the Human Resources and Facilities Division at NCB, the bank’s president and CEO Patrick Hylton, quoted American civil rights activist Marian Edelman as saying, “Education is for improving the lives of others and leaving your community and world better than you found it.”
Hylton said “ I believe her words capture perfectly the memory of the life and work of the late Dr Rickert Allen. For that reason, his utilisation of education as a tool for nation-building will be kept alive through the annual Rickert Allen Lecture and Scholarship. Rickert Allen exemplified a pioneering approach to the reimagining and restructuring of his division while successfully fostering team cohesiveness and commitment”.
Meanwhile, Thalia Lyn, chair of the NCB Foundation said, “developing the communities that we serve is at the heart of what we do at the NCB Foundation.”
“This Dr Rickert Allen Scholarship signals a shared philosophy between a beloved departed colleague and a company at which he has left an indelible mark. In addition to honouring our late colleague, this scholarship helps us to continue to deliver on our promise to empower people, build communities and unlock dreams everywhere we operate,” added Lyn.