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Aug 14, 2014

15 Students Awarded B.T.L. Scholarships…

This morning, fifteen primary school graduates became official recipients of Belize Telemedia Limited scholarships for 2014. These very fortunate few will be assisted in every way through four years of high school – with tuition and fees, books and access to a tutor. The program started in 1991 and, including these recipients, five hundred and seventy-nine students have benefitted. Today, the 2014 recipients, along with their parents and guardians, were honoured at a ceremony and luncheon in Belize City. Mike Rudon was there and has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

These lucky primary school graduates will be heading to high school in a couple weeks, thanks largely to timely, and, in some cases, absolutely critical assistance from Belize Telemedia Ltd. They are the selected applicants for the scholarship program – fifteen success stories from a field of five hundred and eighty-five. The selection process was intense – including scrutiny of academic performance, socio-economic status, and character. The applicants were also given the opportunity to plead their own cases before the panel, explaining why they felt they deserved this shot at the scholarship.

 

Kimberly Borland

Kimberly Borland, Selection Panel Member, Scholarship Committee

“They had the opportunity to express that verbally, and we also, because we know that some of them were very nervous and this was probably the first interview in a panel with eight people…to make them feel a little more comfortable we gave them the opportunity to write and they could have written a book if they wanted to expressing why they thought they were most deserving of a scholarship.”

 

Today, after the ceremony of speeches by officials of the company and even the Minister of Education, the students were called up to receive their scholarship certificates and gift packages – making it official, so to speak. They came from primary schools all over the country, from different backgrounds. They all have different stories to tell, but they are united by a need for assistance and a determination to do well and to make good on the trust placed in them. Their pride today was palpable, as was their gratitude for the invaluable gift from B.T.L.

 

Aiyana Rudon

Aiyana Rudon, Scholarship Recipient

“Gratitude…gratitude to B.T.L. for giving me this wonderful opportunity which I will not waste. With help from my teachers and my parents I will do excellent things.”

 

Abdi Bochub, Scholarship Recipient

“I am very proud and I am happy because my mother and my father are very proud of me and that was my goal. I wanted to make them proud. My mother was the one who told me to rise and do my work and all that. She is always pushing me to do my best.  I think first of all God, then my teachers who have taught me too, and my parent, my uncles and aunts who have helped me too.”

 

Naya Bodden, Scholarship Recipient

Naya Bodden

“To B.T.L., Mr. Augustus of course, to my aunts, to my whole family, without them and my teachers throughout the eight years of primary school I don’t know where I would have been.”

 

The program is much more than just a one-time financial award. The students will join their predecessors as part of the BTL family, complete with mentors to guide them in high school, and to provide support when they falter.

 

Lorena Martinez

Lorena Martinez, Selection Panel Member, Scholarship Committee

“It’s a personal relationship, a friendship so to speak. For my mentees I’m a friend. And it’s very inspiring when you speak to them and they lean on you for a lot of guidance. Whether it’s related to their school work or whether they’re going through their personal little issues that they want to vent or share. It’s an honour to be a mentor and I find it personally fulfilling because it’s touching the lives of the youths.”

 

Kimberly Borland

“It was a very emotional experience. Some of the students actually made us cry with their stories and it gave me a proud feeling to say that I assisted and I helped them and I’m pretty sure that my eight colleagues felt the same way.”

 

At any time throughout the year, there are at least seventy-five students benefitting from the B.T.L. Scholarship Program. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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