Leading Grenadian hotelier, Sir Royston Hopkin has once again demonstrated his philanthropic spirit by providing an opportunity for a better education to 15 more students under his scholarship programme.
Sir Royston held a ceremony at the recently upgraded Spice Island Beach Resort on the Grand Anse beach front to hand out vouchers to a number of students.
The scholarship programme was started in 1992 to help ease the financial burden on parents of graduates from the Grand Anse Roman Catholic Primary School.
This year, 12 students from the school were awarded along with three students of staff members of the luxury Resort.
A total of 152 students have so far received scholarship assistance from Sir Royston for a minimum of seven years, which allow them to continue onto the tertiary level.
During the ceremony held several students were given special awards for outstanding performance in school.
Alleni Modeste was awarded for topping her school, the Grand Anse Roman Catholic School, at the CPEA, while Shade Davis was recognized for outstanding performance in Form 2.
In addition, Aneisa Charles was recognized for excellence throughout her five years of Secondary school and Nathaniel Francis for excellence in hospitality.
According to Scholarship Programme Coordinator, Hermian Griffith, the students who were awarded showed improvements in their scores over the years.
“This year I am pleased to report an increase in the Caribbean Private Exit Assessment scores. The score sheets that we got and reviewed we noticed that the scores were improving – the Maths and Sciences scores in particular are improving, students like Alleni Modeste scored very high in Maths and English. It’s a clear reflection of the hard work of Principals and Teachers,” she said.
Griffith disclosed that even at the level of TAMCC, the percentages received by students involved in the programme showed signs of improvements.
She said: “In reviewing the report card we notice that students were performing at a higher standard with good deportment which is important, improved attitude towards authority and towards correction. These attitudes are very important to us at the hotel”.
The hotel staffer recognised the role that parents have to play in the development of their children.
“For the students to continue to do well most importantly it takes the discipline, the love, care and emotional support of you the parents, help us to help your children by encouraging …. them to work hard, study harder so that they can maintain an average of at least 65% in all their subject areas, encourage them to be punctual and exercise good deportment at all times,” she said.
Sir Royston urged the students involved in the programme to always give of their best in order to really achieve.
“… When you get that opportunity you have to seize it. I left school in Form Four a lot of you are in Form Four (and now) I run one of the top hotels in the world. I did it because I have applied myself”, he told the recipients of awards.
“…What I’m saying to you, young awardees, you got enough opportunities to go to secondary school. I remember last year that out of the 10 awardees, 7 of the kids were kids of unemployed parents – that is sad but it’s good because I feel that those kids are given an opportunity with my scholarship programme,” he said.
Sir Royston reminded the awardees that their educational journey has only just began in the secondary school system.
He said: “I want you to continue what you’re doing and do it as best as you can. That’s all I’m asking of you, that’s all I would convey to you, whatever you do, do it as best as you can”.
Principal of the Grand Anse RC, Gary Jones was high in praised of Sir Royston’s initiative to help the less fortunate students in the south of the island.
“Most persons may wish to describe this initiative as mere co-operative social responsibility. I would prefer to describe this initiative that has 59 students on roll, this initiative that has benefited some 152 students, I would like to describe it as cooperate care”, he said.
“…This scholarship should not be taken lightly – it is incumbent on you to utilise and harness this opportunity presented to you today, do what is necessary to protect and preserve your future,” he added.
Former Principal of Westmorland School, Lyndonna Webster who was invited to deliver the feature address a the ceremony, challenged the students to look at reading as a tool to help them gain a good and sound education.
Webster also impressed on the parents the need to teach their children the importance of respect.
“Parents are their children’s first and most important teachers, their education begins and continues with you, you teach them how to be polite and sociable and how to say good morning. This is very important because sometimes good manners can open doors that the best education cannot,” she said.