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Aug 10, 2023

The William Dawson Memorial Scholarship is Launched

Today at the Conference Center at the University of Belize Belmopan Campus, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the national university, and the ministries of Youth, Education and Home Affairs. It was to establish the William Dawson Memorial Scholarship which coincides with the launch of a criminal justice program at UB. News Five’s Duane Moody was there for the signing ceremony and files this report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

It was a proud moment today for those who knew the late Director of the Leadership Intervention Unit, as an M.O.U. was signed to launch the William Dawson Memorial Scholarship. It is being introduced along with a new criminal justice program at the University of Belize. It’s the brainchild of UB’s Outgoing Board Chair, Anthony Sylvester.


Anthony Sylvester

Anthony Sylvester, Outgoing Board Chair, University of Belize

“William was such a galvanizing force in the society and he was able to bring together persons who by nature would have had conflict with each other. We were developing the criminology and criminal justice program at the national university. One of the key aspects of the mandate of the national university is that the programs address national development needs and that they are relevant and that they are able to be utilized. The idea is also at the end of five years, two years to have a cadre of Belizeans who will be able to as well have the necessary skill set in criminal justice. And criminal justice is very vast; it is not only the police, but it involves the prison, it involves the court system. So UB is doing its part and the respective government ministries, they are doing their part to ensure that we are able to have the necessary personnel in the criminal justice program.”


Ten persons were selected as the first cohort of students to benefit from the scholarship that is geared specifically towards this program – six from within the public service and four from the general public. Among those lucky recipients is Wynonna Crawford-Jackson. A sociology graduate of SJCJC back in 2012, Jackson says that she is fuelled by the recent murder of her brother to pursue this degree.


Wynonna Crawford-Jackson

Wynonna Crawford-Jackson, Recipient, William Dawson Memorial Scholarship

“I have been waiting for a program such as this for a long time and you see the tortoise always wins the race because imagine I have been patient, waiting for this program and I got awarded with a scholarship to be amongst the first cohort. So it is amazing and I am looking forward to do great things and it has been a part of my passion to see social and criminal reformation in Belize, reformation to our laws, advocacy for those who are really suffering at the hands of crime and violence. And I personally is going through that right now and the fire has been reignited, refuelled because I lost my brother Luis Beaton.”


For Sylvester, it is an achievement being made ahead of demitting office as chair of the university board.   During the ceremony, William Dawson was described as an agent of change and this is what the program seeks to produce.


Anthony Sylvester

“William, who came from humble beginnings, who had like many of us struggles in our lives but was able to overcome all the odds and be a positive spark, to be able to be someone who created such immense change in the society. That is something fantastic and that is something that the recipients, cause all the speakers spoke about, it is hopeful that they will be able to as well – when they have completed their degree to enter into their respective areas of work and the society and similarly be a beacon of hope and a beacon of change.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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