On Thursday, March 17th, 2016, KCOBA USA Inc. joined our 65 scholarship recipients and the Baxter Maths Club at the 7th annual Panel Presentation & Awards held in the St. Augustine chapel at North street. The event serves to reward, encourage, and mentor our younger brothers at Kingston College. The afternoon was spent celebrating the achievements of all the students, with awards given to the top performing and most improved students from both groups. The concept of the prizes is to aid the students in their educational pursuits and as such, laptops, tablets, and cash were handed out.
The afternoon commenced with prayer done by Mrs. Marvia Wilson, guidance counselor, followed by Welcome and Remarks by Vice-Principal, Mrs. Marguerita Douglas-Hall on behalf of Principal Myrie, who was unavoidably absent. The association’s President, Rainford ‘Perry’ Bloomfield, addressed the gathering by commending the students for their continued hard work and perseverance in spite of the challenges. Additionally, he reiterated the association’s commitment and pleasure in being able to offer these scholarships, and he reminded them that the association is motivated by their continued success. He asked that they capitalize on the opportunity.
President Bloomfield then introduced the panelists: Mr. Mark McTaggart (Aviation Engineer, NY); Mr. Ansell Barrett (Accounting Professional & former College Instructor, NY); Mr. Merrick Foster (IT Specialist, NY); and Mr. Wilfred McKenley (Author & local Entrepreneur). Each panelist summarized their journey through Kingston College to their present position. Interestingly, although all the panelists went on to advanced educational institutions, they all credited Kingston College and its Christian principles for the solid foundations that fueled their successes. A question and answer session ensued the presentations of the panelists. The students got the opportunity to “pick” the minds of the panelists by asking questions on topics germane to them, the students. One student, Curtis Authors, for example asked, “what do you do when everyone and everything around you is suggesting that you will not make it?” Naturally, this profound question was addressed by all the panelists and other individuals present. The session was quite engaging and rewarding for the participants. A number of students walked away with prizes ranging from a book to a check for J$50K. Thanks to author and local entrepreneur, Mr. Wilfred McKenley.
The gathering was then treated with musical items from the KC Music Club by way of Kimani Calder & friends. This was followed by the presentations by Mrs. Sonia Watson: Top Performer (Academic - Scholarship), Mickel Rhoden, who received a laptop and cash; Top Performer (Mathematics - Baxter Maths Club), Shemar Rowe, who received a laptop and cash; Most Improved (Academic - Scholarship), Andre Johnson, who received a tablet and cash; and Most Improved (Mathematics - Baxter Maths Club), Trey Maury-King, who received a tablet and cash.
The afternoon was graced with an impromptu address by Mr. Robert Kelly, former President of KCOBA USA Inc. and ardent supporter of everybody and everything KC. He spoke of the early days of the scholarship program and his connection with it since inception. He acknowledged the growth of the program and culminated his speech by encouraging the recipients to give back to Kingston College. Mr. Kelly spoke of the number of individuals who have benefited from the scholarship program, but failed to give back.
After the formal part of the afternoon, the panelists, guests, students et al moved over to the conference room, where they were feted with food and drinks. The setting fostered more socializing and bonding.
The 2016 Panel Presentation & Awards is arguably the best one to date. Accordingly, we must acknowledge and thank the sponsors of the awards: Ms. Bernadette Atkinson (Friend of KC), Mr. Jermoth ‘Bobby’ Dixon (KCOBA Exec.), Mr. Alton Brown (KCOBA Exec.), and of course, Mr. Wilfred McKenley (McKenley & Associates). Also, we must applaud the work of the scholarship committee, particularly the scholarship administrators at Kingston College: Mrs. Sonia Watson, Mrs. Marguerita Douglas-Hall, Ms. Tameka Woolaston, and Ms. Juliet Wilson. Special recognition must go out to the overseas-based Fortisians who sacrificed their afternoon at Champs to support the event. Kudos to all who contributed to a very successful event.