Rotary Club of Barbados West, Scholarship Award Ceremony 2021. (Media Resource Department)

Cileah Gill is the recipient of this year’s Rotary Club West Scholarship.

She was selected from among nine applicants for the scholarship, which is offered by the service club, in partnership with the Sandy Lane Golf Classic and Diamonds International.

The scholarship was officially presented to Ms. Gill during a brief ceremony held at the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Constitution Road, St. Michael, on Monday.

The past student of Charles F. Broome Primary School and Queen’s College will be pursuing the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery programme at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.

In her acceptance speech, the 19-year-old expressed her gratitude to the Rotary Club, its donors and the Ministry of Education in helping her to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a medical doctor.  “I am more than ecstatic to be the 20th scholarship winner…. Studying medicine has been a lifelong dream of mine from the age of four.

“I owe everything to my parents who have and always will be my number one supporters.  I couldn’t have gotten this far without them.  

“With this assistance given to me, I know I will definitely go on and continue to do and achieve great things, and I will always give of my best because I know that at the end of the day, I have a lot of people who believe in me…. A special thanks to the Rotary Club and the Ministry of Education for making this all possible,” she said.

Noting the importance of healthcare to national development, Ms. Gill said she intended to “use the knowledge gained from my studies to give back to my nation”.

She was congratulated by Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw, who encouraged her to strive for excellence, and to push beyond any challenges she might face along the way.  

“On behalf of the Government of Barbados, I wish you the best in your future endeavours…. This scholarship will be of tremendous value in assisting with your financial commitments over the course of the programme…. We look forward to you adding value to our country on completion of your studies.”

Minister of Education, Santia Bradshaw and Rotary Club West Club President, Rene Butcher, present Cileah Gill with the scholarship while Chairman of Rotary Club of Barbados West, Marcia Cyrus and Past President, Horace Cobham, look on. (GP)

Minister Bradshaw also praised the Rotary Club and its partners for their contribution to the education sector over the past 20 years. 

She noted that they had provided over $150,000 in scholarship funding for Barbadian students pursuing studies in areas identified as key to national development, such as in science and technology, education, and health.

She expressed optimism at the possibility of corporate entities partnering with the Ministry of Education in a similar manner to offer support in a range of subjects, including those of a technical and skills-based nature.

As he congratulated this year’s awardee, President of Rotary Club West, Rene Butcher, said the organisation was keen on assisting Barbadian students who were affected by financial constraints.  

“We have encountered young students who have been frustrated in their efforts to complete their course of study because they simply do not have the means to do so. That is why our programme not only focuses on academic ability…. It’s a holistic assessment of the student….

“We’ve been able to find those students who show tremendous academic promise, who we believe can not only successfully complete their chosen course of study, but who we believe, after doing so, can make a significant contribution to our nation. We believe that education is the primary way for social, financial and economic advancement and that is why we continue to push this scholarship programme,” Mr. Butcher stated.

The scholarship is offered annually to Barbadians 16 to 20 years old, who would have matriculated at a Caribbean university. It takes the form of an educational grant, which is paid per year during the course of study.

Special consideration is given to areas of study which are considered critical to national development.  Applicants must show evidence of good academic performance and financial need.

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