Sixteen scholarship winners have been applauded for their work in this year’s Common Entrance Examination.
During a special ceremony held recently at Almond Bay Caterers in Hastings, Christ Church, the winners of the Lawson Weekes Educational Scholarship Programme – sponsored by the constituency of St Michael North West – were celebrated.
The recent graduates of Deacons Primary, Eagle Hall Primary, St Stephen’s Primary and Half Moon Fort, all of whom reside in St Michael North West, were also urged to take a page out of the book of the late parliamentarian Weekes, in whose name the scholarships were given.
Guest speaker Senator Harry Husbands told the students that much like the late pharmacist, who was regarded as a pillar in the community and was known for his activism and support of families in need, they could achieve all they wished in life.
“If you desire to be, you can be an entrepreneur, you can be the quintessential lady and gentleman . . . you can be of service to others,” the parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Education said.
He also encouraged the parents who were in attendance to “take charge” of their children’s destinies.
“Taking charge does not just mean issuing directives [such as] ‘do this, do that! Don’t do this, don’t do that!’ It means several things: It includes, spending time with the young people,” Husbands explained, adding that “there is no excuse whatsoever for not spending time with these young people”.
He further advised the parents not to leave the responsibility for raising their children to either the state or non-governmental institutions.
“Anything that these organizations do is icing on the cake. The responsibility first and foremost is yours. . . . You can’t say, ‘I went to the parliamentary representative and he didn’t do nothing’ . . . . Anything that these agencies do is extra and you should be thankful for it,” Husbands added.
In his address, the incumbent parliamentary representative for St Michael North West, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, urged the students to stick to their principles as they prepare to enter new schools come September.
“As you go into your new schools, wherever they maybe . . . carry the same principles, work hard, play hard, do your extra-curricular activities and honour yourselves.
“Honour your parents, your guardians, your family members, your community, but most of all, honour yourselves, because, at the end of the day, we each have to take individual responsibility for our lives.
“People will be there from time to time to assist us. God will always be there to bless us, but at the end of the day we have to take responsibility for our actions and for our lives,” Sinckler stressed.