Published by Jamaica Observer September 5, 2016
The Peace and Love Academic Scholarship (PALAS) awarded scholarships to 102 students from high school and tertiary institutions at the Jamaica Pegasus on August 13, the highest number in its seven-year history.
|102 PALAS awardees in 2016|
Awards in the previous five years totalled 384, with a value of approximately JA$23 million (approx. US$184,000.00).
PALAS was launched in 2010 in memory of then 18-year-old Vanessa Campbell, an aspiring artiste who was found behind the Greater Portmore Post Office in St Catherine with her throat slashed.
Jamaican-born Washington DC Attorney-at-Law Patrick Campbell, who shared keynote address duties with junior education minister Floyd Green, spoke of his childhood in Mountain View where he said he saw dead bodies on a weekly basis. While such scenes of violence can be detrimental to a child, he argued, it can be overcome. That, he said, was his reason for supporting the scholarship programme. “Growing up in Mountain View as a boy, I watched a lot of violence. Growing up I was scared,” he said detailing some experiences.
|Hon. Floyd Green, PALAS Founder Rula Brown|
& Attorney Patrick Campbell
“It is good to leave all the partying for a later time. Spend time with your books now and later you can party all you want. It will come,” Campbell cautioned the students.
Before closing he offered some tips on keeping heads above the water and achieving goals. Among those he listed were: don’t let anyone else set your limits, only you are the decider of your own future; don’t let your history determine your future; and emulate successful people.
For his part, the minister praised PALAS for its role in helping to push education.
|Clifton Edwards presents to Fabia Dev-Ann Linton|
“Education is the vehicle to be successful,” he said, adding that it will take real partnership not only with Jamaica but also with the diaspora.
In that regard, Green said the difficulties being faced by non-profit organisations in the diaspora which bring in charitable goods should not be occurring and added that “(Government) was looking at how to make it easier for those who want to (donate) books and other things to the education process”.
“If you do all the hard work, send your product, we can take care of the rest,” he told the gathering of students, parents, PALAS directors and friends.
PALAS reported that 22 students who have been in its programme for the past five years graduated with their university degrees in 2016, including six medical doctors, seven lawyers and seven fine artists. Please donate at www.PALAS1.org to support the program.
Thirty-five PALAS students have now graduated from university, the Atlanta-based non-profit declares on its website. “The goal is to award 120 new ones in 2017-18,” said PALAS. more