Short Boss, Digicel Foundation partner to renovate school
The Reliance Basic School in Braeton, St Catherine, is in for a major upgrade, thanks to a partnership between 2017 Digicel Rising Stars winner Akeem 'Short Boss' Smith and the Digicel Foundation.
Short Boss chose the school as his charity of choice to benefit from the foundation's donation of $1.5 million, which was part of his overall winnings in the talent show.
"The world is nothing without education," said Short Boss, whose daughter is in her second year at the early childhood institution.
"The school is where we start to prepare our young ones to go out into the world. It is so important, not only for our community of Phase Three, Braeton - Portmore, but also for children from outside the area to come here and learn. It means everything to me."
The funds will go towards the renovation and expansion of classrooms, building a resource area, setting up a multipurpose room, and erecting a perimeter fence.
More comfortable environment
Short Boss is elated that he is able to make such a great impact.
"I want the kids from the community to have a more comfortable environment - a home away from home. This will really encourage them to learn more," he said.
The school has been serving the community since 1988 and currently has 48 pupils.
Principal Judith Royal Gardner welcomed the partnership.
"The Reliance Basic School is most grateful for the assistance," she said.
She is especially delighted that the school will have a fence that will provide a safer environment for students. She is also hopeful that the planned improvements will help Reliance Basic to obtain certification from the Early Childhood Commission, a goal the administration is working hard to achieve.
CEO of the Digicel Foundation Dane Richardson said that the foundation is delighted to be partnering with another Rising Stars winner this year. "We congratulate Akeem on his win," Richardson said. "We are happy to be working with him on this project. Clearly, he is a man with a strong community spirit, and this will be a welcome contribution."