By Latrishka Thomas
A second-year student at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill campus in Barbados, who was recently selected as the 2019/2020 UWI Open Scholar, has expressed gratitude for having received such a prestigious award.
Sherrel Charles of Potters Village described her initial reaction to the good news saying: “I was extremely excited because I have never gotten something like this before. I’ve never gotten a scholarship before.
“I’ve never gotten something this big before and so I was so happy and grateful and I thank God because he is the only reason why I was able to get the scholarship and I am extremely grateful and thankful for him.”
Charles explained that as a result of this reward, a heavy burden has been lifted from her shoulders and those of her family members.
“This means a lot to me because this releases the financial burden off of my parents. I don’t have to worry about where the money is coming from to fund the duration of my programme. I can just focus solely on just pushing and applying myself in something that I am passionate about which is Environmental Science and Ecology,” she said.
In addition, the 20-year-old awardee told OBSERVER media that although she was unsuccessful when she applied for the scholarship last year, she did not allow that to deter her from applying again.
In fact, she said that it proved to be motivational.
“I applied for the UWI Open Scholarship at that time and the Board of Education Scholarship, and right down to the day I was supposed to leave for Barbados, I found out that I did not get any of the scholarships. So that put me in a difficult position and my parents had to take out a loan and take money out of their own pockets to fund my education, my accommodation and everything,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Potters resident said that after completing her Bachelors in Ecology with a minor in Environmental Science, her intention is to further her studies before returning home
“When I finish UWI, I actually want to continue with my Masters to see if I can get into a programme for energy engineering, or just continue along the path of Ecology and Environmental Science,” Charles said.
Each year, the UWI offers the UWI Open Scholarship with the goal of attracting and thereafter, rewarding, exceptional academic achievement in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate or Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination, or in the earning of an Associate’s degree, or for UWI students who have completed their first year with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.6.
The award covers residence costs, food, books, tuition and miscellaneous fees, while the government finances the economic cost.