MUA-NIA Scholarships awarded to St. John’s residents

NIA Charlestown Nevis (July 30, 2013) – The Medical University of the Americas (MUA) and the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), through their annual scholarship, continue to support citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis who are desirous of pursuing undergraduate degrees in the areas of priority specified by the NIA and who have exhibited a financial need.

Following a call process spanning from May 21 to July 12, 2013, the MUA- NIA Scholarship Committee, during a brief ceremony held on Friday July 26, 2013 named two St. John’s residents— Ms. Ariela Wilkinson of Beaumont and Mr. De-Jon Liburd of Cole Hill Village—as the recipients of the scholarship for the 2013-2014 cycle.

According to Mrs. Nicole Slack-Liburd, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Chairperson of the MUA- NIA Scholarship Committee, some of the priority areas considered for this year’s cycle included Physical Therapy, all areas of science such as Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics as well as Pharmacology, Medicine and Nutrition.

Mrs. Liburd said the committee—which included Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Mrs. Lornette Queeley-Connor, Permanent Secretary for Human Resources Mr. Chesley Manners, private sector representative Ms. Keesha Jones, youth non-governmental organisation representative Mr. Ron Daniel and Medical University of the Americas representative Steve Roger—had gone through a significant period of evaluation and had come to a conclusion on the awardees for this year.

“We reviewed seven complete and very competitive applications and received roughly 20 queries…Our recipients:…Ariela Wilkinson, she has been awarded a scholarship to study a Bachelor of Science in General Science at UWI Mona Campus and…we have Mr. De-Jon Liburd and he will be pursuing a degree in the area of Physical Therapy at Midwestern State University in Texas.

“The maximum allowance per year for the scholarship is US $22, 500, so it’s a very significant contribution and will definitely get these students onto the right path in their desire of becoming health professionals. We eagerly anticipate their graduation dates and their return to the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis,” she said.

Meantime, the Permanent Secretary used the opportunity to encourage unsuccessful applicants to apply for the 2014-2015 cycle.

“We also thank the many applicants that were unsuccessful at this time but really did put forth tremendous competitive applications and we really thank you for applying and encourage you to apply next year as well as others.

“This is an annual scholarship and it is quite a significant sum and it would allow many persons the opportunity to pursue tertiary education which would otherwise have been inaccessible,” she said.

Ms. Wilkinson in her response expressed her gratitude for being chosen as one of the recipients.

“This gives me an opportunity to go away and to follow, to reach my goals. I would be studying a Bachelor of Science where I will be focusing on Biology, Chemistry and Math, eagerly waiting to come back home and to teach it, even at the sixth form level where teachers are usually needed.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Medical University of the Americas in collaboration with the Nevis Island Administration for giving me this opportunity to make the best of it and I will make them proud,” she said.

Mr. De-Jon Liburd in his response said he, too, was honoured that the scholarship committee had chosen him as one of this year’s recipients.

“I have always dreamed of being in the medical field. I am truly grateful as the scholarship is needed to deal with the many costs associated with my course of study. This is not only a blessing for me but for my family as well… Thank you once again to the MUA and NIA for the consideration given to me,” he said.

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