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Aug 19, 2016

B.T.L. Awards 25 Scholarships in 25th Anniversary of Scholarship Program

The country’s largest telecommunications provider also runs one of its biggest scholarship programs. Established in 1991, Belize Telemedia Limited’s scholarship program has helped hundreds of Belizeans gain access to secondary education in the quarter-century it has been in existence. Today, Aaron Humes met with the latest cohort of scholars at the Radisson.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

The twenty-five scholars who were the center of attention at the Radisson Hotel’s Cahal Pech Room this morning have probably never known a time when the initials B.T.L. stood for anything other than Belize Telemedia Limited.  All they know is that for the next four years – once they maintain good grades and stay out of trouble – their academic future is secure and they are among a privileged few.

 

Anwar Barrow

Anwar Barrow, Executive Committee Chairman, B.T.L.

“We have a tremendous amount of applicants that apply; we have a committee made up of seven to eight people that go over the applications; they interview, sometimes, fifty, sixty applicants to fill twenty-five spots, so it’s very competitive, a lot of people are very interested. It’s a great scholarship; you get tuition, books – you also get some support, because our staff not only selects the recipients, but also afterwards provides support to them in the form of counseling, in the form of tutoring and that sort of thing.”

 

The chairman of B.T.L.’s Executive Committee, Anwar Barrow, is not a member of the scholarship committee that annually selects the recipients; but he is well aware that for them it is getting tougher and tougher to discern who has the greatest financial need and most glittering resume.

 

Anwar Barrow

“Absolutely, especially the people who are on the Committee see and experience what it is to be, you know, in the life of one of these young people, and there are so many more, and it is so difficult when you have to turn away people who are also deserving, but perhaps these ones are a little more deserving, all spoken for. So, definitely it’s something that we want to expand, it’s something that the Board of Directors has placed a lot of emphasis on, and is very, very interested in.”

 

Today’s recipients share many dreams – to be a player in the N.B.A., to be professionals, to be a credit to their society and their country. We spoke with two of them:

 

Miah Buller

Miah Buller, 2016 B.T.L. Scholarship Recipient

“On behalf of Belize Telemedia Limited I’m proud and happy.”

 

Reporter

“And on behalf of yourself how you are feeling?”

 

Miah Buller

“Proud, very proud.”

 

Reporter

“What are your plans? What would you like to be, once you’ve completed high school and complete the scholarship program?”

 

Miah Buller

“I would like to be a lawyer.”

 

Reporter

“Why that?”

 

Karleen Avilez

Miah Buller

“Because I want to help people win their cases.”

 

Reporter

“What are you looking forward to in attending high school?”

 

Karleen Avilez, 2016 B.T.L. Scholarship Recipient

“Learning how to be a mechanical engineer, U.S. Navy.”

 

And for these future leaders and many others to pursue their dreams, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports and Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber, says B.T.L. and others must continue to step up to the plate.

 

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“For the Government to be able to provide that good, quality education to our students, it is important that we have good corporate citizens, good partners in other aspects of education – like the churches for instance – so that we put it all together to provide that quality for our young people. Our mantra in the Ministry is, “Education, it’s everybody’s business,” and certainly, B.T.L. has made it its business by becoming a great corporate citizen, and a great partner to the Ministry of Education.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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