Basseterre, St. Kitts — Chairperson of the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board Ms Maritza Bowry has said that the institution, which has as its vision ‘to become the most sustainable and secure financial institution in the Federation’, believes that investment in human capital is critical to the country’s development.
Ms Bowry made the remarks Monday afternoon (September 21st) when she delivered feature remarks during an awards ceremony for nine 2015 Social Security Susanna Lee High School Scholarship recipients and two special one-time scholarships, which was held at the E. St. John Payne Annex of the Social Security Building in Basseterre.
“It is our narrative to build a better community,” stressed Ms Bowry. “So we invest in students so that they are equipped with the tools necessary to become the true architects of their lives.”
The Chairperson observed that the Social Security Scholarship Programme began 32 years ago in 1983 and in that period the institution would have spent approximately $2m investing in the lives and education of the country’s youth. The investments, she added, have come in the form of scholarships that fall in three categories.
“We are happy to state that we have positively impacted the lives of 188 students over the last 32 years via scholarships for secondary education and 31 students who have received university financial assistance,” pointed out the Social Security Board Chairperson.
According to Ms Bowry, the success stories of Social Security scholarship students can be seen throughout the Federation. She observed that there are scholarship recipients who are now educators, who have chosen to continue to pass the torch in support of continued learning and education.
“We have scholarship recipients who are now key leaders in our Federation’s Government,” advised Ms Bowry. “Many of you may or may not know that the Hon Mark Brantley, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation was awarded the first Social Security Secondary School Scholarship in 1983 when he entered third form.
“I have also come full circle, and can personally speak and attest to the significance of the investment in education that Social Security has made. I was the first recipient of the financial assistance at the university level when I attended the University of the West Indies in 1996 and pursued a first degree in Accounting and Economics.”
She thanked the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board for “investing in me and I am pleased to serve as Chairperson of Social Security Board.”
Present at the ceremony which was chaired by Mr Walwyn Chiverton, Social Security’s Executive Officer, included the Hon Vance Amory, Senior Minister with responsibility for Social Security, Mrs Sephlin Lawrence, Social Security Board Director, and Ms Claudine Saunders, Board Member and Chairperson Scholarship Committee.
Others included Ms Susanna Lee, SSB Scholarship Mentor, Mrs Jacqueline Brookes-Jeffers, Board Member, Ms Tishima Browne, Miss National Carnival Queen and a former Social Security Scholarship holder, parents of the awardees, and senior staff at Social Security.
This year’s awardees were Zanique Williams, Charles E. Mills High School; Sabrina Naraine, Washington Archibald High School; Shaniah Flemming, Basseterre High School; J’Simba Mitcham, Cayon High School; and Wrenzanae Thomas, Cayon High School.
Others were Shomar Bowry, Saddlers School; Jacquan Clarke, Charlestown Secondary School; Fiquesha Garnette, Verchilds High School; and Charlyn Myers, Gingerland Secondary School. Special scholarship awardees were: Steve Walters of Gingerland Secondary School and Raziq Charles of Cayon High School.
Quoting former South Africa President, the Late Nelson Mandela, who said that ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’, Ms Bowry encouraged each of the awardees to build a legacy of pride and purpose.
“A lot of persons made investment in you, I can’t imagine a better investment, but as you experience your success, and as you experience setbacks, you need to remember that everything is being put in place to make sure you had opportunities,” said Ms Bowry.
Board Member and Chairperson of the Scholarship Committee, Ms Claudine Saunders, congratulated the students on their success and encouraged them to keep up the remarkable work, and advised them to “Dare to be different as your individual cumulative actions result in favourable end products.”
Director of Social Security, Mrs Sephlin Lawrence, also took time to welcome and congratulate the newest high school scholarship awardees, telling them that they were very fortunate to be inducted into the best, and the most rewarding scholarship programme in the Federation.
Also present at the ceremony and given certificates by the Hon Vance Amory, Senior Minister with responsibility for Social Security, who is also the Premier of Nevis, were Fifth Form Graduates – beneficiaries of the Social Security Scholarship Programme.
Fifth Form Graduates: Khijanna Huggins (Saddlers Secondary School), Kishmoy Hutchinson (Charles E. Mills), Phelicity Woodley (Washington Archibald High School), Kishma Durod (Basseterre High School), Leandra Browne (Gingerland Secondary School), Jemar Davis (Cayon High School), and Zarina Alcendor (Charlestown Secondary School).