Grenville — On Thursday August 29, 2013, the Grenada Education and Development Programme, GRENED, provided some 41 students, each with $700 worth of school support in the form of vouchers for books, school supplies and uniforms as well as cash, mainly for transportation and food.
GRENED students were also attached to a mentor, and each student is to be enrolled in “GRENED Science,” an environmental science research project during October-November 2013.
The GRENED student support is in its 17th year and students come from St. Andrew’s, St. David’s and St. Patrick’s.
Chairman of the Board of Directors, Anthony Isaac, said that the organisation’s mission is to expand the pool of Grenada’s leaders by supporting mainly rural youth through their secondary school years and sometimes at tertiary level.
He said that GRENED wants to contribute to a critical improvement to rural households by supporting promising and ambitious students, but who need financial support.
The Chairman, a retired insurance executive, said that GRENED’s vision is a poverty-free, thriving and sustainable Grenada, and that coming about in part because education is used as a catalyst to improve the socio-cultural and the socio-economic situation of families.
Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Dessima Williams, just returned from a 4-year diplomatic posting abroad, wished the students well and urged them to excel, giving the best of themselves to their families, their teachers and school, their community and to Grenada.
The former university professor listed past achievers of GRENED’s scholarship and other programmes as including: Officer in Charge of the Grenville Branch of Grenada Public Service Co-operative Credit Union; a Grenada diplomat in Brussels; a cardiologist in the US; an SGU graduate in finance; several teachers and a young man now starting medical studies in Cuba.
Vouchers were handed out by members of the board, including the Chair as well as Denis Noel of Noelville’s Nut-Med and Gloria Thomas, a senior Social Development and Education Officer.
The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Grenville community including Leslie Ramdhanny of Ramdhanny and Sons, Prof. Lincoln Bernard of TAMCC and members of the media, including George Grant of Grenada Broadcast/Sundays With George Grant.
Several parents, grandparents and older siblings accompanied the children.
The GRENED programme is funded via voluntary contributions. Dr. Williams has raised $16,020.00, including from the Alexander Bodini Foundation and Drs. H and L. Loring. Long Island-based high school principal, Grenadian educator, Dr. Anthony Bridgeman has raised $6,000.00 and the Maple Nedd Foundation based in St. Andrew’s has pledged $1,000.00.
Prior to the scholarships being given out, each student’s school performance of the previous year is evaluated by GRENED and recommendations made to the student.
Last school year’s top performer is a14-year old girl, C. Joseph, now entering Form IV, who gained an 89.3% overall average and has NEVER been late to school in 3 years.
Among the awardees are two brothers entering into Form II whose father is their guiding light; two brother and sister sets, one from St. Andrew’s and another from St. Patrick’s; and one pair of girl-twins going to Form IV who are always extremely helpful and fully supported by their mother. Glenda Williams of GRENED (no relation to Dessima Williams) continues to lead the evaluation process.
All students receiving support from GRENED are required to participate in a monthly self-development series. This will re-commence at the end of September and is led by Gloria Payne-Banfield, former Cabinet Secretary and diplomat, and a cultural leader in Grenada.
The 2013-14 academic year in Grenada started on Monday (September 2).
GRENED is self-funded. Donations of any size can be sent to GRENED by contacting Dr. Williams firstname.lastname@example.org or Michelle Stewart at email@example.com
(Reproduced from GrenadaBroadcast.com)