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Who will be the next All Bahamas Merit Scholarship winner?

  • Lisa Rodgers (left), 24, the 2007 All Bahamas Merit Award winner who studied education and human biology at Brown University, said winning the award six years ago was a source of pride for her, especially as the importance of education was impressed upon her by her parents, Dr. Kenneth J. Rodgers and Patricia Rodgers. LISA RODGERS

  • Lisa (right) currently teaches sixth-grade science at a charter school called KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) Austin College Prep in Austin, Texas. LISA RODGERS

SHAVAUGHN MOSS
Guardian Lifestyles Editor
shavaughn@nasguard.com

Published: Jul 24, 2013

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Queen’s College graduate Shannon Butler aspires to become a cardiothoracic surgeon. It will cost him approximately $60,000 per year to study in the medical program of his choosing at the University of St. Andrew’s in Scotland. Butler, along with many other Bahamians who have graduated high school this year with impressive grade point averages, and are seeking to further their education post secondary school have applied for consideration to be awarded the most prestigious scholarship awarded in The Bahamas — The All Bahamas Merit Scholar, which is currently valued at up to $35,000 annually to help fund them in furthering their educational pursuits. But the wait is on, and hopefully within a week, two weeks tops, the person who will receive the 2013 award will be announced.

The All Bahamas Merit Scholarship, which is a renewable award for up to four years of undergraduate study, tenable at The College of The Bahamas or an accredited university or college in the Caribbean, United States of America, United Kingdom or Canada, is awarded to the applicant who has demonstrated exceptional academic ability, and excellence in co-curricular activities and has been accepted to an academically prestigious college or university. The winning applicant also has to have a strong ethos of public service, possess an unwavering dedication to improving the lives of all Bahamians, and demonstrated a strong moral character and the potential to lead.

According to the criteria for selection, the ideal All Bahamas Merit Scholar serves in an ambassadorial role for The Bahamas, and is expected to contribute to the overall development of the country by providing service and applying their talents and knowledge to improve the lives of other Bahamians.

Past winners of the All Bahamas Merit Award and the university they attended are: Shireen Denise Donaldson (1993, Johns Hopkins University), Damian Forbes (1995, Yale University), Rhys Powell (1996, MIT), Jehan Unwala (1997, Tufts University), Damian Archer (1998, University of Western Ontario, UWI Mona Campus), Ryan Knowles (1999, Boston University), Ricardo Davis (2000, Queen’s University, Canada), Peter Blair (2002, Duke University), Sebastian Hutchinson (2003, University of Pennsylvania), Sharelle Ferguson (2004, Harvard), Andrea Culmer (2005, McGill University, Canada), Kyle Chea (2006, Vassar College), Lisa Rodgers (2007, Brown University), Genymphas Higgs (2008, Drexel University), Jenna Chaplin (2009, University of The Pacific), Clifford Bowe (2010, Georgia Institute of Technology), Jamia Boss (2011, College of St. Benedict) and Theophilus Moss (2012, Johns Hopkins University).

The field of studies for past All Bahamas Merit recipients ranged between accounting and finance, biochemistry, physics and mathematics, social studies, chemistry, history and Chinese, education and human biology, biomedical engineering, visual arts, mechanical engineering, and pre-medicine and Spanish.

Lisa Rodgers, the 2007 All Bahamas Merit Award winner who studied education and human biology at Brown University said winning the award six years ago was a source of pride for her, especially as the importance of education was impressed upon her by her parents, Dr. Kenneth J. Rodgers and Patricia Rodgers.

“As a student at St. Andrew’s School I worked really hard to take advantage of the educational opportunities that were given to me with the understanding that there are many students who were and still are not being given the same educational opportunities as I was,” said Rodgers. “And I think The Bahamas All Merit Scholarship in many ways symbolizes the public acknowledgement and recognition of my dedication, commitment and focus in school. And I think it also served as a representation of the country’s belief in my abilities to succeed at Brown, and eventually be able to come back and positively impact the Bahamian community.”

Rodgers, 24, currently teaches sixth grade science at a charter school called KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) Austin College Prep in Austin, Texas.

As the top achieving graduates who applied for the scholarship and are in a wait-and-see mode to see just who will be awarded the 2013 scholarship, Rodgers said that they should be feeling excitement and pride that they were good enough to even be able to apply for the award. But she said there would be a great sense of relief for the scholarship winner, as it will mean a huge economic burden lifted off the person’s parents or guardians.

When Rodgers attended Brown the fees were approximately $50,000 annually.

“I extend my congratulations to whoever the lucky student is. I am very proud of them as I’m sure the rest of the country is, and I hope and know that they will go on to do great things with whatever they choose to study,” she said of the as yet to be announced winner, who will join a very elite fraternity.

But just who will emerge the 2013 All Bahamas Merit Scholar is still a wait and see game, as no one outside the selection committee knows the successful applicant, or how many individuals have even applied for the award for that matter, as it’s a selection process that is usually kept tightly under wraps until the day the All Bahamas Merit Scholar is named. So for people like Butler who have applied, they have no idea who they are competing against for the award, except for the fact that they are probably up against other smart kids who are under the age of 20; have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or equivalent at the end of the fall term; sat a minimum of seven Bahamas General Certificates of Secondary Education (BGCSE) examinations including English Language and Math, prior to the time of application and had applied to an accredited college or university.

But it’s not all academics when it comes to determining the winner. The selection committee scrutinizes the applicants’ academic merit — GPA, BGCSE grades, test scores including Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) 1, SAT 11, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), COB GPA, rigors of their academic program, honors, awards and recommendations. They look at the quality and reputation of the proposed college or university, as well as the applicant’s leadership and contributions to school and community. The candidate’s personal qualities, including leadership skills, maturity, independence, sense of direction, motivation, self-expression and enthusiasm are also taken into account.

Whoever wins Rodgers reminds the person to always remember that college is the lever through which people can bring about change in the country, and that there are many opportunities they have at their disposal while there.

The All Bahamas Merit Scholarship is offered in conjunction with The Bahamas Ministry of Education, the Lyford Cay Foundation, Inc. and the Central Bank of The Bahamas. The recipient has to maintain a 3.25 cumulative GPA or equivalent in the first year of study and a minimum of 3.50 cumulative GPA or equivalent in each subsequent year. All Bahamas Merit Scholars are also required to complete a minimum of 25 hours of volunteer service to projects of their choice annually.

Other scholarships to be awarded include the National Academic Scholarship (up to $10,000 annually for specific courses of study); The National Technical Scholarship (up to $10,000 annually for specific courses of study) and the National Grant (one year award of up to $7,500 to complete a course of study currently being pursued).

Queen’s College graduate Shannon Butler aspires to become a cardiothoracic surgeon. It will cost him approximately $60,000 per year to study in the medical program of his choosing at the University of St. Andrew’s in Scotland. Butler, along with many other Bahamians who have graduated high school this year with impressive grade point averages, and are seeking to further their education post secondary school have applied for consideration to be awarded the most prestigious scholarship awarded in The Bahamas — The All Bahamas Merit Scholar, which is currently valued at up to $35,000 annually to help fund them in furthering their educational pursuits. But the wait is on, and hopefully within a week, two weeks tops, the person that will receive the 2013 award will be announced.

The All Bahamas Merit Scholarship, which is a renewable award for up to four years of undergraduate study, tenable at The College of The Bahamas or an accredited university or college in the Caribbean, United States of America, United Kingdom or Canada, is awarded to the applicant who has demonstrated exceptional academic ability, and excellence in co-curricular activities and has been accepted to an academically prestigious college or university. The winning applicant also has to have a strong ethos of public service, possess an unwavering dedication to improving the lives of all Bahamians, and demonstrated a strong moral character and the potential to lead.

According to the criteria for selection, the ideal All Bahamas Merit Scholar serves in an ambassadorial role for The Bahamas and is expected to contribute to the overall development of the country by providing service and applying their talents and knowledge to improve the lives of other Bahamians.

Past winners of the All Bahamas Merit Award and the university they attended are: Shireen Denise Donaldson (1993, Johns Hopkins University), Damian Forbes (1995, Yale University), Rhys Powell (1996, MIT), Jehan Unwala (1997, Tufts University), Damian Archer (1998, University of Western Ontario, UWI Mona Campus), Ryan Knowles (1999, Boston University), Ricardo Davis (2000, Queen’s University, Canada), Peter Blair (2002, Duke University), Sebastian Hutchinson (2003, University of Pennsylvania), Sharelle Ferguson (2004, Harvard), Andrea Culmer (2005, McGill University, Canada), Kyle Chea (2006, Vassar College), Lisa Rodgers (2007, Brown University), Genymphas Higgs (2008, Drexel University), Jenna Chaplin (2009, University of The Pacific), Clifford Bowe (2010, Georgia Institute of Technology), Jamia Boss (2011, College of St. Benedict) and Theophilus Moss (2012, Johns Hopkins University).

The field of studies for past All Bahamas Merit recipients ranged between accounting and finance, biochemistry, physics and mathematics, social studies, chemistry, history and Chinese, education and human biology, biomedical engineering, visual arts, mechanical engineering, and pre-medicine and Spanish.

Lisa Rodgers, the 2007 All Bahamas Merit Award winner who studied education and human biology at Brown University said winning the award six years ago was a source of pride for her, especially as the importance of education was impressed upon her by her parents, Dr. Kenneth J. Rodgers and Patricia Rodgers.

“As a student at St. Andrew’s School I worked really hard to take advantage of the educational opportunities that were given to me with the understanding that there are many students who were and still are not being given the same educational opportunities as I was,” said Rodgers. “And I think The Bahamas All Merit Scholarship in many ways symbolizes the public acknowledgement and recognition of my dedication, commitment and focus in school. And I think it also served as a representation of the country’s belief in my abilities to succeed at Brown at eventually be able to come back and positively impact the Bahamian community.”

Rodgers, 24, currently teaches sixth grade science at a charter school called KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) Austin College Prep in Austin, Texas.

As the top achieving graduates who applied for the scholarship and are in a wait-and-see mode to see just who will be awarded the 2013 scholarship, Rodgers said the they should be feeling excitement and pride that they were good enough to even be able to apply for the award. But she said there would be a great sense of relief for the scholarship winner as it will mean a huge economic burden lifted off the person’s parents or guardians.

When Rodgers attended Brown the fees were approximately $50,000 annually.

“I extend my congratulations to whoever the lucky student is. I am very proud of them as I’m sure the rest of the country is, and I hope and know that they will go on to do great things with whatever they choose to study,” she said of the as yet to be announced winner who will join a very elite fraternity.

But just who the 2013 All Bahamas Merit Scholar will be is still a wait and see game as no one outside the selection committee knows who will be named The All Bahamas Merit Scholar, or how many individuals have even applied for the award for that matter as it’s a selection process that is usually kept tightly under wraps until the day the All Bahamas Merit Scholar is named. So for people like Butler who have applied, they have no idea who they are in the running against for the award, except for the fact that they are probably up against other smart kids who are under the age of 20; have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or equivalent at the end of the fall term,;sat a minimum of seven Bahamas General Certificates of Secondary Education (BGCSE) examinations including English Language and Math, prior to the time of application and had applied to an accredited college or university.

But it’s not all academics when it comes to determining the winner. The selection committee scrutinizes the applicants’ academic merit — GPA, BGCSE grades, test scores including Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) 1, SAT 11, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), COB GPA, rigors of their academic program, honors, awards and recommendations. They look at the quality and reputation of the proposed college or university, as well as the applicant’s leadership and contributions to school and community. The candidate’s personal qualities, including leadership skills, maturity, independence, sense of direction, motivation, self-expression and enthusiasm are also taken into account.

Whoever wins Rodgers reminds the person to always remember that college is the lever through which the people can bring about change in the country, and that there are many opportunities they have at their disposal while there.

The All Bahamas Merit Scholarship is offered in conjunction with The Bahamas Ministry of Education, the Lyford Cay Foundation, Inc. and the Central Bank of The Bahamas. The recipient has to maintain a 32.5 cumulative GPA or equivalent in the first year of study and a minimum of 3.50 cumulative GPA or equivalent in each subsequent year. All Bahamas Merit Scholars are also required to complete a minimum of 25 hours of volunteer service to projects of their choice annually.

Other scholarships to be awarded include the National Academic Scholarship (up to $10,000 annually for specific courses of study); The National Technical Scholarship (up to $10,000 annually for specific courses of study) and the National Grant (one year award of up to $7,500 to complete a course of study currently being pursued).

 

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