A GROUP of youngsters were the proud and grateful recipients of the full package needed to begin a new school year, thanks to the philanthropic Daren Sammy Foundation (DSF).
The second annual Daren Sammy Foundation Scholarship Ceremony was hosted on Monday morning at the New Financial Centre and the packages were handed out by none other than Cathy Sammy, who serves as the Chairwoman of the foundation.
Nine of twelve recipients were present and, out of those, at least four of the students were receiving scholarships for their second year, indicating that they managed to meet the criteria for the scholarship, which included the maintenance of good grades as well as good attendance throughout the previous school year.
Cathy Sammy spoke about the DSF, which is a non-profit charitable organisation, and is also the dream of her husband, cricketer Daren Sammy. The Foundation, she said, was conceptualised by her husband to fulfil his goals in serving St. Lucia through sports and education.
“The Foundation is setting its goals towards developing the youth through academics,” she said. “We believe that every child is capable of greatness if given the opportunity. In these early stages, the Foundation is looking to maintain steady and sustainable growth for the future.”
Over the past year, the Foundation awarded ten academic scholarships and last December launched the “Bringing Back Smiles” campaign, whereby a donation of ten Christmas hampers were made to the families of the scholarship recipients.
Adding to their list of philanthropic deeds, the Foundation made a sponsorship to St. Lucia’s Qiana Joseph following her accomplishment to the West Indies Women’s Cricket Team for the 2016 World Cup.
Sammy urged the students to value the opportunity given to them as they were fortunate to be chosen out of hundreds vying to be in their places.
She said: “Give of your best everyday, apply yourselves everyday, be focused and dedicated throughout the term and throughout the school year, not only at exam time. Continue to be the well-rounded individuals that you are, learn to manage your time wisely and balance your academics and extra-curricular activities.”
She continued by telling the youngsters to use her husband as an example of what it means to multi-task while remaining focused and goal oriented.
After the presentation, some of the students gave heartfelt messages of gratitude to the Foundation for their scholarships.
Ryley Francis said: “I would love to show my appreciation to Mr. and Mrs. Sammy, and the whole Daren Sammy Foundation, for the opportunities and the miscellaneous products given to me. I show my gratitude to them.”
O’Neal Thompson: “A heartfelt thank-you to the Daren Sammy Foundation for this wonderful contribution. It is a huge help to me and I will continue to work hard to maintain this scholarship. Thank you.”
Nyia Antoine: “As I am ever so grateful for the opportunity granted to me, and the other students from various communities around St. Lucia, I would like to thank the Daren Sammy Foundation for the magnificent job done with the scholarships awarded to us. Thank you for this huge assistance as it helps us progress with our education. Hats off for the Daren Sammy Foundation. Lots of love.”
As part of their scholarships, the students received brand new school bags, school books, stationery, uniforms, school shoes, and school facilities fees — all the necessities needed to ease the burdens of both students and their parents for the new school year.