Five Bahamians Awarded OAS Scholarships
NASSAU, The Bahamas – Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration the Hon. Brent Symonette recognised five Bahamians for receiving the 2010 Organisation of American States Scholarship in various undergraduate and graduate studies aimed at nation building.
“As OAS Scholarship recipients, they are considered among the best candidates who possess the potential to make significant and profound contributions to this society,” Mr. Symonette said during an awards ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday, August 6, 2010.
The recipients are: Shavado Gibson, Architectural Engineering; Antonne Taylor, Civil Engineering; Victoria Bethel, Public Health; Devern Nairn, Public Health; and Shavonna Laing, Mathematics – Teacher Education. They leave in August for institutions in the United States.
The OAS Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarship Award Programme dates back to 1958, and is financed by the governments of Member States as a means of contribution to their integral development. The Bahamas joined the OAS in March 1982 and the latest recipients bring the total to 79 who have received OAS scholarships.
“This programme is therefore one of the instruments of the OAS that is designed to enrich the human resources of the Member States,” Mr. Symonette said.
The recipients have distinguished themselves in terms of their consistently high academic performance, been active in extra-curricular activities, and have shown leadership potential.
“These were all well-defined criteria in the OAS scholarship selection process and I salute them for the remarkable way they have developed themselves,” Mr. Symonette said.
He also acknowledged the Bahamas/OAS Pre-Selection Committee, which is composed of representatives from the local OAS office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education and the College of The Bahamas for their work. There were 20 applicants reviewed during the selection process, which started January 2009.
“It is because of their hard work and the generosity of the OAS that these Bahamians will have their lives enriched,” Mr. Symonette said.
He encouraged the recipients as they pursue their studies, to cherish different experiences and see that the education and skills they will acquire, as a tool to assist in building the Bahamian economy and to safeguard democratic values.
Mrs Juliette Mallet-Philip, Director of the Organisation of American States said that the organisation is known for furthering the advancement and development of its Members States. She said that the organisation also appreciates the commitment by the Bahamian government to this cause.
On behalf of the recipients Shavonna Laing said they were grateful to have been selected for such an award and for the opportunity to be ambassadors for The Bahamas. Upon completion of studies, she said they plan to return home to make contributions to the society.educational, youth