Scholarships To Go

NAME OF FEATURE | THE GLEANER | THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2022 5 SCHOLARSHIPS TO GO F ATUR | THE GLEANER | THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2022 “IT IS not how you start; it is how you finish,” is the adage that VM Foundation Scholarship awardee Kamala Brown lives by. She says she strives for academic excellence amid challenges. Achieving educational goals has not always been easy for her. Having experienced significant financial challenges growing up, it would have been easy for her to give up. In reflecting on her journey, Kamala recalls, “My mother left me with my grandmother when I was three weeks old. I did not come to know my father until I was 19 years old. To finance my high-school education, my grandmother relied on small loans from the bank to keepus afloat until she couldno longer begiven access to these loans due to her age. I remember not having lunch money to go to school because her loanpaymentswere due,”she said. Brown is in her final year at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, pursuing a BSc in international relations with a minor in criminology. She is passionate about addressing violence against children and inequalities against persons with a disability. As such, she volunteers as a peer career adviser for the Office of Student Services at The University of theWest Indies (UWI); has been a Respect Jamaica youth adviser is active with the citizen’s association within her community; and supports the elderly at her church. Despite the challenges, Brown emphasises that the scripture from Joshua 1:9 has helped to keep her focused, “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with youwherever you go”. In continuing to reflect on her journey, Brown shares: “Outside of my grandmother andmy grandaunt, I barely had any other family member to depend on, because I was seen as the ‘bad apple’. I remember times leading up to CSEC and CAPE where I had to stay behind until late in the evenings to complete my School-Based Assessments (SBAs), as sometimes there was no light at home.” These challenges did not prevent Brown from achieving success, as she left high school with a total of 18 subjects. With the help of her grand-aunt, she started university. She also met her father while at university, and he began to provide financial support. This glimmer of hope was short lived as, unfortunately, not too long after meeting him, her father was shot and killed in October 2020. At the end of Brown’s second year of university, her grand-aunt retired, and she was now at another crossroads. It is here that the VM Foundation Master Plan Scholarship provided that final push that she needed. “At this time, I had no one else to rely on,” she said. “I am honoured to have been awarded the VM Foundation Master Plan Scholarship. I am also proud to be on the Dean’s Honour Roll. It’s really a blessing to see all my hard work being acknowledged.” Brown is now well on her way to pursuing a career in human rights and foreign policy. She has some encouragement for those experiencing roadblocks on their journey to achieving their goals, “Our challenges should not deter us from achieving what we want. Even if you are your only cheerleader, keep cheering yourself on along the journey until others join you. It is not how you start; it is how you finish. It might be hard, but keep pressing! It will all make sense one day.” The VM Foundation Scholars programme offers scholarships to students at the secondary and tertiary levels. The VM Foundation Junior Plan Scholarship and PEP Bursary are for students who have completed PEP in the year of application and will be starting high school. The VM Foundation Future Plan Scholarship is for students who will be starting tertiary education in the year of application at a local tertiary institution in any field. The VM Foundation Master Plan Scholarship is a onetime scholarship offered to a student who will be starting the final year of an undergraduate or master’s degree programme, and the VM Foundation Stem Scholarship is awarded to a student who will be starting tertiary education in the area of science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Kamala Brown (left) receives her VM Foundation Master Plan Scholarship Award, valued at $300,000.00, from VM Foundation CEO Samantha Charles at the handover ceremony in 2021. CONTRIBUTED Kamala Brown: It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish VM FOUNDATION TransformYour Everyday. The VMFoundation Junior Plan Scholarship and PEP Bursary are for students who have completed PEP in the year of application and will be starting school. The top performing student in each county is selected for the PEP Scholarship and top performing students across all parishes will be chosen for a one-time PEP Bursary. All applicants must have an active VMBS account. The VMFoundation Future Plan Scholarshipis for students who will be starting tertiary education in the year of application at a local tertiary institution. The scholarship has a maximum 4-year tenure and is awarded to 3 students. All applicants must have an active VMBS account. The VMFoundationMaster Plan Scholarship is a one-time scholarship oered to a student who will be starting the nal year of an undergraduate or master’s degree programme. All applicants must have an active VMBS account. The VMFoundation StemScholarshipis awarded to a student who will be starting tertiary education in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics. The scholarship has a maximum 4-year tenure. All applicants must have an active VMBS account. Apply NOW for scholarships under the VMFoundation Scholars Programme AwardCategories Transform Your Future! To apply, visit vmfoundation.myvmgroup.com or vmfoundationscholaships.myvmgroup.com to complete the online scholarship application. Applications Close: Friday, July 8, 2022

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