Social Security High School Scholarships
On Wednesday 10th October 2012, eight new students were inducted into the Susanna Lee High School Scholarship program; a flagship educational initiative of the Social Security Board. At the same time, eight graduating students were given Certificates of Merit for their successful performances in their recent examinations. The formal ceremony took place at the Social Security Head Office in Basseterre on St. Kitts.
Members of the Social Security Board, management and staff were joined by Minister of Social Security Hon. Sam Condor and past scholarship holder Ms. Johan Kelly in the celebration of excellence. They gave words of advice and encouragement to the incoming students and lauded the outgoing ones for their excellent results.
In keeping with the established policy, the new inductees of the coveted scholarship program have been drawn from feeder schools to each of the public high schools of the Federation. On St. Kitts Ta-jorah Stapleton is attending the Washington Archibald High School in Basseterre. Keyshawna Headley is a student at the Cayon High School. Tekoyah Mason is benefitting from academic exposure at the Saddlers High School. The Basseterre Senior High School is the new learning environment for Jozelle Wattley. Jovaughn Connor is pursuing studies in Sandy Point at the Charles E. Mills Secondary School and Lufkin Foster is the scholarship’s newest addition to the Verchilds High School.
Meanwhile the high schools on Nevis have two new additions under the program. Shaniah Williams is carrying the Social Security flag at the Charlestown Secondary School while Ryana Powell is the standard bearer at the Gingerland Secondary School.
At the same time when new breath was being infused into the celebrated educational initiative, Social Security was pleased to honour the following graduates:
- Taisha Lennard of the Verchilds High School for passing eleven (11) subjects with six (6) distinctions
- Trevin Nisbett of the Gingerland Secondary School for success in ten (10) subjects with three (3) distinctions
- Davron Hanley of the Washington Archibald High School who achieved ten (10) subjects including three (3) distinctions
- Jonelca Browne of the Cayon High School for her nine (9) subjects with two (2) distinctions
- Kisheen Buchanan of the Charles E Mills Secondary School who received nine (9) subject passes with two (2) distinctions
- Donne Dyer of the Charlestown Secondary School for passing eight (8) subjects
- Tyarra Petty of the Charlestown Secondary School for success in seven (7) subjects with three (3) distinctions, and
- Brendon Mulraine of the Basseterre High School for passes in seven (7) subjects with one (1) distinction
Mr. Elvin Bailey, Assistant Director of Research, Statistics and Public Relations chaired the proceedings and introduced the various items on the agenda. Manager of the Statistics and Research Department Mr. Donovan Herbert said an Opening Prayer. This was followed by Opening Remarks by Mr. Bailey. The Director of Social Security Mrs. Sephlin Lawrence delivered a Welcome Statement after which the Chairperson of the Board’s Scholarship Committee Ms. Eslyn Swanston shared a Message with the students and their parents who were present. In her presentation, she declared that the scholarship can be viewed as the best in the sub-region. Her sentiments were echoed by other subsequent speakers.
There were two featured speakers in the persons of Ms. Johan Kelly and Hon. Sam Condor. Ms. Kelly who was a former scholarship student (and who had also gone on to become a National Carnival Queen) provided a useful pep talk to the students in particular. She reflected upon her own experience coming through the program as well as her hurdles and successes as she undertook the challenge of university in Mexico years later. Minister Condor also provided valuable reflection in relation to his own journey as a scholarship student at a different level when he pursued studies in Great Britain in the 1970s.
Following the Presentation of Certificates by Ms Eslyn Swanston and Mrs. Sephlin Lawrence, the parents of the students signed a Commitment Agreement. This is a measure designed to engender ownership of the responsibilities of the scholarship by parents. It is a document which declares their pledge to fully support their children’s education along with participation in parent/teachers association meetings.
Words of Appreciation were delivered on behalf of the incoming students as well as the graduating ones by young Mr. Ta-jorah Stapleton and Ms. Taisha Lennard, respectively. Scholarship Committee Secretary Mrs. Trevere Swanston gave the Vote of Thanks to bring the event to a close.
The Susanna Lee Scholarship program is one of three scholarship initiatives of the Social Security Board. It was initially conceptualized as an Independence gift to the Federation in 1983. To date, close to two hundred recipients have benefitted from the program.