November 9, 2022
GRATITUDE was the shared sentiment among Kingston College students Andrew Campbell and Demar Anderson, who were awarded with ‘BUSS the Youths’ scholarships to complete their high school studies this year.
The students, who are in upper sixth form, each received $65,000 for their school fees.
The BUSS (Build, Uplift, Strengthen, Support) the Youths scholarship was developed by former students at the school in 2020. The programme aims to fund school fees for two upper sixth students each year.
“I am very grateful because I didn’t not know how my school fee would be paid.
My mom is having difficulties financially and so I was elated for this. I didn’t think I would be chosen, I was very shocked. God knew my situation and he came through for me,” Anderson told the Jamaica Observer.
Noting that he wasn’t expecting to receive the scholarship, Anderson said, “I guess I looked at the other guys who were up for the scholarship and I thought they looked smarter than me and I just did not think I had a shot but it came right in the nick of time.”
Anderson noted that he is motivated to provide for other students, when he graduates from the school.
“The fact that it was provided by old boys just showed me that they can become successful and assist with the younger ones in school. It just inspires me. When I become successful I can give back to the school,” said Anderson who is studying Caribbean studies, sociology, history and literatures in English.
Meanwhile, Campbell was equally thrilled.
“I am extremely grateful. On a scale of one to 10, definitely 11. The fact that my school fee was paid, there was a weight lifted off my back and off my parents back,” Campbell told the Observer.
“It is a wonderful feeling because the camaraderie which is fostered at Kingston College by Kingston College old boys is really good. That’s really what I love about my school, the sentiments that surround my school is what I really love,” he added.
According to president of the scholarship programme, Dr Stephan Neill, this is the second year that students have received financial aid.
He said two students received scholarships in 2020 and 2022, as the novel coronavirus pandemic derailed the acquisition of funds in 2021.
“We came again in 2022 and awarded two more. The criteria wasn’t so much academic, it was more of a case of a needs basis. Through teachers at the school, we had them circulating the application link, to the students in their classes and they were asked to apply,” said Neill, noting that six students were shortlisted for interviews after essay submissions.
In the meantime, the scholarship awardees noted that they have learnt much from the experience.
“Let things go and let God do his work. I didn’t know how the school fee would be paid. I was stressing about it, did the interview and I was called three weeks after to say I was selected,” said Campbell.
While Anderson added, “Keep on persevering. No matter how difficult your situation might be or how hard you find yourself in situation, God will make a way, you will have a breakthrough. I never knew how my school fee would be paid and I applied just to see if I would get through.”
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