Scholarship recipients head to St. Mary’s University

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Three students who have displayed exemplary acts of kindness in their communities and achieved outstanding academic success were awarded scholarships to St. Mary’s University in Canada.
The students received the scholarships from Henley & Partners, the global leader in citizenship and residence planning, in conjunction with the Halo Foundation.
Cuthbert Forbes Jr., public relations officer of the Halo Foundation said on OBSERVER AM yesterday that the recipients were selected based on acts of kindness as well as intelligence.
“A lot of times we overlook our youth who do kind things. So, for the scholarships, we look at their humanitarian efforts and their grades of course, because at the end of the day, it’s schooling, “said Forbes. “It’s these small acts of kindness that we look at; like have you have been helping your neighbour’s child with homework for five years and it’s just something that is flying under the radar that no one knows about.”
According to Franklyn Southwell, the main scholarship winner, this initiative will help to motivate other students to get more involved in their communities.
“It shows that there is a system that awards individuals who not just excel academically, but are hardworking and provide a lot of their services to charitable causes. This acts as an incentive for more young people to get involved in the community as their service will not go in vain,” said Southwell.
Southwell’s outstanding humanitarianism captured the foundation’s attention after he took up residence with his grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. The former St. Joseph’s Academy student also helps homeless people he meets at supermarkets giving them food and money and as well as assisting other charity groups.
Southwell will have his tuition, accommodation, meals, books, and other direct university costs covered, while the two other recipients, Armani Gomes and Raynier Debellotte, will have only their tuitions covered. This is the first year that the foundation has awarded scholarships to three students.
In the meantime, the scholarship recipients are appealing to the government to do more for their peers given that they will be the leaders of tomorrow.
“The youth should be given the opportunity to share ideas and to share what we feel will make our  country better. At the end of the day, we are the next leaders,” said Armani Gomes, also a past student of the St. Joseph’s Academy. He will be studying business management and marketing.
Raynier Debellotte, who will be doing a double major in biology and chemistry, said that she hopes the country achieves world-class status in health care and tourism.
 “People have been saying some negative things about the generation that is coming up, but I am hoping that we will step up to the plate and prove people wrong and take Antigua to another level in health care and tourism,” said the future oncologist.
Southwell said that he hopes to become a politician and wishes that the country moves into a direction where other industries become big earners.
“Antigua is more than a tourist destination. I wish to see it become host to a conglomerate of industries ranging from technological innovation, agriculture and banking instead of relying on just one industry,” said Southwell.
The Halo Foundation continues to impact our world through various activities including their Illusion Show coming up in October, the release of their Anti-Bullying Campaign and their Music for a Cause project in December.

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