Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks has lauded the organizers of the Jamaica David “Wagga” Hunt Scholarship fund for providing scholarships to the tune of US$66,000 to students at Calabar High and Kingston College over the past eight years.
Delivering the keynote address at the sixth annual Jamaica David “Wagga” Hunt fundraising ball at the National Education Association Atrium in Washington DC on Saturday, January 14, 2017, Ambassador Marks said over the past eight years, the scholarship fund had provided finances to deserving students from two of Jamaica’s prominent secondary boy’s school which has helped these recipients to achieve educational goals they set for themselves.
“Through the unwavering efforts of committee members to preserve the distinguished name and legacy of David Hunt, an exemplary graduate of Kingston College and highly successful sports administrator at Calabar High, several young male students have been afforded the opportunity to pursue their dreams and chart a course for their future.”
The Ambassador said she was heartened to learn that over the past eight years, seventeen students had been awarded scholarships valuing over US$66,000 to cover tuition and books and other costs.
She pointed out that the scholarships also served to encourage academic excellence and well-rounded young men. “These goals compliment the efforts of the government, Diaspora and civil society to ensure that our young male students are not left behind,” Ms Marks declared.
The Jamaican Ambassador expressed concern that the island was now experiencing a crisis of violence. She said 75% of the crimes were being committed by young men between the ages of 13-25, who were both the perpetrators and victims of this crisis.
She added that it was therefore heartwarming to know of the positive impact these scholarships have on the lives of the recipients and their parents, and reiterated the importance of this initiative.
“I cannot praise you enough members of the Diaspora, who have been supportive of this and other charitable initiatives over the years, which have supported the efforts of the Government in providing invaluable assistance in the areas of health and education,” Ambassador Marks said.
In his remarks, chairman of the David “Wagga” Hunt scholarship committee, Christopher Hunt said the scholarship was one of the ways to preserve the legacy of his brother David who had an untimely death in October 2007.
He pointed out that the scholarship in its eighth year offered assistance to six students: three each from Calabar High and Kingston College.
Each scholarship is valued at US$1,000 and given each year from grades 8 through to sixth form. The recipients are assessed on commendable academic performance, involvement in sports and other extra-curricular activities and are deemed in need of financial assistance.
Dr. Milton Bernard Sr., a Calabar alum and Dr. Norman Smith, a Kingston College alum, were this year’s recipients of the David “Wagga” Hunt award.