Northern Caribbean University (NCU) has pledged, to over the next three years, raise US $10 million in scholarships to assist needy students in at-risk communities. This initiative which has been dubbed RESCUE 2020: Restoring Every Student’s Confidence Using Education, is one of several projects which will be financed through the President’s Fund.
The university’s President, Dr Lincoln Edwards, while launching the President’s Fund on Thursday, June 15, said this project forms part of the institutions mission to help resolve societal problems. The effort is expected to dissuade at-risk youth from pursuing a life of crime, while embracing Christ-centred education. He said that the over 750 Seventh-day Adventist churches on the island are being mobilized to aid in this cause.
“They will encourage these [young people] to come to NCU where there will receive quality Christ-centred education [and] learn proper work ethics. They will be allowed to work [and]they will be encouraged to study hard. Their spiritual, physical and emotional needs will be addressed and we believe that when those students graduate they will return to their communities - they will become leaders in the nation and can bring about the transformation,” said the NCU President.
He explained that with proper training and the restoration of confidence in the nation’s most troubled or at-risk youth, true transformation can take place. This he explained will cause a ripple effect of positive change in volatile areas, while enriching the Jamaican society.
“We believe this is possible because for 110 years NCU has been changing lives, one student at a time. When students are confident there are no limits to their potential,” Dr Edwards asserted.
The initiative will also assist in the reopening of university owned industries to provide working opportunities for the student body. It will also fund the construction of a dental hygiene and community outreach clinic to deliver dental and medical services to under-served populations particularly in rural communities.
Dr Edwards was speaking at the institution’s Fundraising Banquet held at the Jamaica Pegasus. Among the guests present at the event was the Prime Minister of Jamaica, The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, who gave the evening’s address.
The event kick-started a series of activities to commemorate the inauguration of Dr Edwards as the university’s 24th President
The official installation will take place on Monday June 19, in a ceremony to be held on the NCU main campus in Mandeville. The guest speaker will be Dr Giuseppe N. Colasurdo, President of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Texas, USA (UTHealth).