Clarendon 12-year-old to get STAR scholarship
Following the publication of 12-year-old Makayha Gordon's story, 'Help my mother, please! 12-year-old girl pleads for assistance', in The Gleaner yesterday, help is on the way.
Her plight caught the attention of the management at The Gleaner Company (Media) Limited, who have decided to give her a
Nordia Craig, manager, business development and marketing manager at The Gleaner Company (Media) Limited, told THE WEEKEND STAR, "From the story, we saw that Makayha is an intelligent, compassionate and articulate young lady, who simply needs the support of the broader community to ensure that she has the basic things she needs to stay healthy and learn."
THE STAR will be giving away 15 back-to-school scholarships at the RJRGLEANER back-to-school bazaar on Saturday at Devon House.
Craig said that having read Makayha's story, the company decided to make her the first recipient of that scholarship.
"Her need is obvious, and the objective of the programme is to help those in need. We hope that giving her one of THE STAR scholarships to offset some of her school expenses will trigger other donations to fill the many needs that she has. We are confident that Jamaica will come together to ensure that this future leader gets the foundation that she needs to achieve her goals," Craig said.
Makayha will also be receiving help from philanthropist Otis James, through his James and Friends Educational Programme (JFEP), a foundation dedicated to empowering youth in Clarendon.
For more than 12 years, James, through JFEP, has been providing scholarships to students and
providing support to parents in need of assistance.
James told THE WEEKEND STAR: "I heard about her story and I saw her on the street. I went to Denbigh and talked to the principal. I had one slot there to put in a person, and I switched it, so they are gonna take her at Denbigh High School."
Makayha was to attend Vere Technical in September, but the distance from her home in May Pen posed a problem, as funds are simply not available.
James said: "She is not the only one down here a suffer so, enuh. If the youths dem average nuh deh inna the 80s and 90s and 100, dem will live next door to a school and can't go to the school. Dem affi go all 40 miles for the day from there to home - 20 go and 20 come back."
James said he intends to give Makayha a five-year scholarship through the foundation.
"Every day she will get her lunch money to go school. It will be structured that each day she will sign at the vice-principal's office at Denbigh and she will get the funds. That will be like $80,000 a year," James said.
Makayha is one of 25 students who received scholarships from JFEP to go back to school in September.