THOSE four young men have every reason to smile after all. When school reopens next month, they will be entering the secondary schools of their choice, St. Mary’s College and Castries Comprehensive.
But more than that, the smiles that are captured on their faces are as a result of what they earned for their academic achievements at the Common Entrance Examinations.
The parents of those young men are all shareholders of the St. Lucia Workers’ Credit Union Ltd, which provides for scholarships and stipends each year for children of its members who have been successful at the Common Entrance examinations. The scholarships are given on merit while the stipend is based on the economic situation of the parent or parents and on their child’s potential to succeed academically at the secondary school level.
The credit union at present provides five-year scholarships to 16.
The four young men were reminded of the academic standard expected of them when they accepted their packages last Friday at the credit union’s Gablewoods Mall Branch.
Sherman Sylvester, school teacher and Chairman of the credit union’s Credit Committee told the four young men.
“You are beginning a new journey in your life, new school, new teachers, new subjects, new friends, and a whole new environment that you will need to adapt to. It’s a five year journey and it may seem long but it really isn’t as time moves so quickly.
“This financial aid will assist you and your parents in achieving this milestone, therefore you need to make full use of it by taking your work very seriously. Be attentive in class, don’t be afraid to ask questions, do your assignments. Education is not just the Math, English and the various subjects you will be studying; it’s developing the holistic person, so by all means take part in extracurricular activities – sports, clubs, dance troupe, steel pan, musical instrument, etc. The research has shown that persons who can balance both do very well,”
He implored them to take full advantage of the opportunity afforded them by making their parents and the depositors of the credit union proud
“If there is one thing that no one can take away from you is the knowledge stored in the grey matter we call the brain. Spend time reading, not just your school books but material that will enhance and enrich your mind. Do not spend too much time on Instagram or creating verbal wars on Facebook, instead use social media and the internet to your benefit like doing homework and collaborating with fellow students, doing online quizzes and tutorials, etc.,” Sylvester said.
He even had some advice for the parents of the scholarship recipients who were present at the ceremony.
“Ensure that you are a part of your child’s school life. Take time to know their teachers. Guide them at home. Parental involvement is key,” Sherman entreated the parents.
The four young men (L-R) Rishon Daniel (St. Mary’s College), Jay Berthier (Castries Comprehensive), Travell Louis (St. Mary’s College) and ShomariNervais (St. Mary’s College).