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GG’s Programme for Excellence announces Summer of Service Competition

King's House | 2014-06-02 00:00:00

“Being part of the Summer of Service Competition (SOS) taught me to volunteer from the heart.  I made numerous sacrifices because of this competition which has allowed me to grow and utilize skills I never thought I possessed.  The most rewarding feeling for me, however, came from the expressions of gratitude from staff at the Voluntary Organization for Uplifting Children’s (VOUCH) after I completed my SOS work in the organization.” 

This comment from Ms. Angelica Baker, one of the first prize recipients in the 2013 Summer of Service Competition, was one of the many that influenced the Governor-General’s decision to host another year of the Summer of Service competition through his ‘I Believe’ Initiative.

His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen noted that the reports from the top seven winners in the competition proved that the Summer of Service had achieved its goal of increasing a spirit of volunteerism in youth while offering the opportunity to pursue their educational goals.  He said “the competitors presented reports which revealed not only how they gave of themselves, but how they had grown as a result of this experience of volunteerism.” He further stated that “through this year’s staging of the competition, we hope another set of young people will become part of what is right with Jamaica by engaging in volunteerism. I am of the firm belief that volunteerism not only builds character in our youth, but is a necessary ingredient that will facilitate our country’s transformation.” 

The 2014 competition, which runs from June 18 to August 20, is open to final year CAPE students and first year University students who wish to pursue a Bachelors Degree in Social Sciences or Natural Sciences. 

To enter, students must complete an application form which should be downloaded from the IBI website at 

Applications must be submitted to the ‘I Believe’ Initiative between June 3- 15, 2014 along with proof of application to - or acceptance by- any of the participating universities: NCU, UTECH and UWI.  Participants are required to dedicate two months of their summer holidays to a charitable organization or create their own charitable project.  The report on their selected project must be supported by certification from a designated Supervisor.  Deadline for submission of project reports is August 20, after which a panel of judges will determine the top volunteers. 

There will be six prizes as follows:

• First: two (2) full tuition scholarships.
o The Newport Fersan /IBI Scholarship (tenable at UWI or UTECH)
o Northern Caribbean University Scholarship

• Second: two one-year tuition scholarships, one each at the University of West Indies (courtesy of the Sandals Foundation) and the University of Technology (courtesy of Derrimon Trading). 

• Third: two educational material grants valued at $50,000, one each from Sandals Foundation to a University of Technology student and from the ‘I Believe’ Initiative. 

This year the IBI will again partner with service clubs, religious, community and non-governmental organizations to host, support, mentor and supervise volunteers during the competition.  Partner Organizations are VOUCH, Junior Achievement Jamaica,  Spring Village Development Foundation, Petersfield Association of Clubs, Lions Club International, Junior Chamber International, Soroptimist International Club of Jamaica (Kingston), The Council of Voluntary Social Services, Jamaica National’s “The Source” , Women’s Resource and Outreach Centre and National Health Fund.  

The ‘I Believe’ Initiative, an arm of the Governor-General’s Programme for Excellence, encourages Jamaicans to aspire for excellence through its mantra “that there is nothing wrong with Jamaica that cannot be fixed by what is right with Jamaica.”  

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