BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Thursday  29th August 2019)-Two nationals of the Federation- two females- who currently pursuing undergraduate studies at universities abroad are recipients of the annual Michael L. King Scholarship Grant provided by the TDC Group of Companies.

The 12th annual award ceremony was held yesterday (Wednesday) at the TDC Training Room at its head office located on Fort Street in Basseterre.

The 2019 awardees are: Sherise McKoy (Mathematics & Accounting- University of the West Indies-Cave Hill in Barbados) from St.Kitts and Kadencia Liburd (Social Work- University of the West Indies-Mona in Jamaica) from Nevis.

Each has received the onetime lump sum grant of US$5,000 geared towards their academic funding.

(R to L) Chairperson of the Michael L. King Scholarship Committee Maritza Bowry, TDC Chairman Earle A. Kelly, Deputy Chief Officer in the Ministry of Education Debbie Isaac and two TDC Executive Directors Nicolas Menon and Glenville Jeffers seen with scholarship award recipient and representative Kadencia Liburd and Sharlene McKoy-Belle (the mother of awardee Sherise Mckoy) pose for a photo (Spokesman Snap)

In a chit-chat with this media house, when asked about her chosen field study, Liburd who originally hails from the Gingerland community but resides in Charlestown responded: “I actually saw there was a need for social workers. Everyone wants to help someone but in social work it’s not just helping; it’s putting the individual in a space where they’re able to take themselves out of a situation so it’s helping to help them to help themselves. I am so grateful for this opportunity and this scholarship would definitely be beneficial to me as I aspire to complete my Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work, and when I got the call I was ‘over the moon’ with it so I’m grateful. Thank you so much TDC for this opportunity.”

She began her studies in August 2017 and is expected to complete in July 2020.

Asked about returning home, she said: “I don’t think I can ever move away from St.Kitts and Nevis because this is my home, this is my heart and home is where the heart so of course I will be returning to take up my role wherever I’m needed I’m there.”

In sharing advice to other young people about the importance of education, Liburd commented: “For me, education is very important. It is said that people can’t take any your education and if you have it, you can travel the world with it and you can do what you have to do  if you have a passion like I have a passion helping people, go after your passion and don’t be stagnant; do something.  If it’s something little then it would increase into something greater so keep at it.”

Sharlene McKoy-Belle, the mother of the awardee (Sherise Mckoy of Cayon who is currently at school), also expressed gratitude in saying: “Just to receive the news that she had received this grant has brought her much joy and comfort, and of course this generosity of this financial grant has lightened a heavy burden off of her and enabling her now to achieve success because she has less to worry about. Sherise is very eager to return and give back to her community as she has been giving so and so I extend much appreciation.”

Her daughter, who is a trained teacher pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree, started her studies in 2019 with a May 2021 complettion timeframe.

At this week’s award ceremony, Chairperson of the Michael L. King Scholarship Committee Maritza Bowry informed that the programme “is intended to assist students who are desirous of pursuing full-time studies at the undergraduate level in areas which include but are not limited to, Architecture, Accounting, Construction Management, Economics, Engineering, Pharmacology and Information Technology. The award is open to citizens of St.Kitts and Nevis who are resident in the Federation and intend to rerun after their studies.”

According to her, to date TDC has contributed US$225, 000 (EC$607, 500) to the tertiary education of forty five (45) national of St.Kitts and Nevis.

“This year, we received thirty (30) applications; 21 females and nine males-11 from residents in Nevis and 19 from residents in St.Kitts. Some of the applicants have already begun their studies and were recently accepted. They are pursuing studies in various disciples including Information technology, psychology, accounting, mathematics, construction management, civil engineering, geography, languages, chemistry, social work, political science, business management, economics and human resource management,” Bowry disclosed.

She pointed out that based on the rules of the grant, two awardees were selected.

Notably, while scholarship recipients are encouraged to return home after completing their studies, they are not obligated to do so. “We like to encourage all of the awardees to return. I don’t know how many has but we like to encourage all of them to return because as part of the development of the county we need all the resources we can possibly get. It make no sense for people to go overseas and stay in North America in particular and build up those countries when in fact, we need the resources more than ever. If you don’t come back, you’re not punished, you’re not asked to return the grant because wherever you are as Kittitians and Nevisians, you still will contribute.  We’d love for you to come back but if you don’t come back, you’ll still contribute so that’s not a big issue for us,” remarked TDC Chairman Earle A. Kelly.