On Monday, June 29, 2015, the Union of Jamaican Alumni Associations (USA) Inc. (UJAA) hosted their 25th Annual High School Graduate Awards Ceremony at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York. The event honors exceptional high school seniors, of Jamaican parentage, who are heading to college. Each recipient received a UJAA award and formal recognition for their scholastic achievements and extra curricular activities.
Naturally, for KCOBA USA Inc., this was an ideal opportunity for us to continue to live out Bishop Gibson’s creed that features inner city youth development and empowerment through education. Accordingly, the association aligned with UJAA and offered a scholarship to the top performing male of the graduates. Of course, we were on hand to present the award to the deserving young man, and we are committed to offer this scholarship annually.
The function was well attended by parents, other family members, teachers, sponsors, and friends of the honorees. The event was artfully managed by UJAA, spearheaded by their High School Graduate Awards Committee. Some of the notables that were present include: Karlene Largie (immediate past president of UJAA); Lesleyann Samuel (president of UJAA); Mr. Herman G. LaMont (Consul General of Jamaica – NY); and the guest speaker, Ms. Erin Lue-Hing (Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board Future Leader – Northeast). The wonderful and positive evening culminated with the gathering being treated to refreshments by D’Bay Café.
This alliance with UJAA represents the second such collaboration in offering scholarships and awards to young people in our local communities. For the past couple of years, the association has been involved with the MLK Maths Competition in the Bronx, New York. In this instance, we not only give an award to the top male performer, but we assist in overseeing the competition and also help in grading the papers. As mentioned before, it is natural for us to get involve with projects such as these, and it is not just us honoring our Charter’s obligation.
At Kingston College, we were taught the value of an education and the role it plays in giving young people from humble situations a chance in life. As Fortis, it seems ordained that we continue to champion this cause wherever we are in the world. So, continue to support us as we strive to support our communities, home and abroad. Fortis!!!