The annual CB Group UWI 5K Run/Walk has raised more than $38 million in scholarship funds. File Photo

UWI 5K Run/Walk set for November 13

THE FIFTH ANNUAL CB Group UWI 5K Run/Walk and Smart Egg Kids K will be held on Sunday, November 13, 2016.

Since 2012, the initiative has raised more than $38 million in scholarship funds for close to 100 students at The UWI, Mona Campus.

The initiative, which benefits the development of sports and education for the most talented and needy students,
grew out of an idea by the late Raymond Chang, recalled Donette Chin-Loy Chang, Co-chair of the CB Group UWI 5K.
“In 2012 when we marked the 50th anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence, Ray thought we should celebrate Grand Jamaica Homecoming by having an event at the Usain Bolt Track at The [UWI Mona] Bowl. Along with some of our powerful colleagues, we pooled our collective positive energy and The UWI 5K was born,” said Chin-Loy Chang. The powerful colleagues” of whom she spoke included Douglas Orane, Thalia Lyn, Minna Israel, and Elizabeth Buchanan-Hind.

Speaking at a press launch earlier this year for the 5th staging of the CB Group UWI 5K Run/Walk, the Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal of The UWI Mona, Professor Archibald McDonald, lauded the CB Group, which has been title sponsors of the event since its inception. “The CB Group recognises that in order to build a strong and formidable nation that maintains a strong economy and a good social welfare system, big businesses must invest in creating the right foundation for the achievement of this goal,” McDonald said.
“In so doing, they have created an impressive event that allows all members of our community to take on a proactive role in building education in our country while helping many realise their dreams of learning and advancing their knowledge base,” the principal added.

McDonald went on to thank them for another year of support to the students of The UWI, whose lives and careers the CB Group has had an indelible impact on. Some of the first recipients graduated last year, many with first class honours, and next cohort is expected to follow in their footsteps for graduation 2016.

Three of the scholarship recipients expressed their gratitude on behalf of the group during the press conference. Clifton Thompson, Bio and Food Chemistry graduate, Monique Brown, final year Molecular Biology student, and Chevar South, final year Medical Science student, all had high praises for the initiative.
Thompson, a two-year recipient of the scholarship, received a first-class honours degree in his field, “I don’t know if I could have completed university if I did not receive the scholarship,” he said. Thompson, who is now a science teacher at a high school, encouraged and challenged his fellow awardees to continue to wave the banner of the CB Group UWI 5K Scholarship proudly. He also urged the sponsors to continue the initiative “as education is the best way forward”.

Meanwhile, Brown’s story was one of determination and faith. She pursued her studies not knowing where the finances would come from. Having been rejected by relatives when she sought their financial assistance, Brown decided that taking a leave of absence was her only other option. Before she took this step, she applied for the scholarship. Recalling the exact day when she was informed of the positive outcome, Brown said that she cried tears of joy. “I applied for the CB Group UWI 5K Scholarship a few months before school reopened. While in class on Thursday, September 24, I received a phone call…and I discovered that I was selected as a recipient… and that this scholarship award would cover my tuition for the entire year!”

Like Thompson and Brown, past head boy of Wolmer’s Boys’ School, Chevar South, found himself struggling financially in the initial years at university. But all this changed in 2014 when he was awarded a scholarship.
“I felt a true dichotomy of emotions – it was exhilarating and ecstatic on one hand and then true relief on the other,” he recalled. In addition, he said his fourth year, the 2014/2015 school year, was his best since entering his five-year medical programme. Pending one final grade, South was poised to make the Dean’s List, a particularly significant achievement for the demanding medical programme. The Dean’s List represents a group of students whose GPA are 3.60 and above.

In addition to the scholarships, each recipient also received a book, The Business of Nation Building, written by co-chair and sponsor, Douglas Orane. Orane, who gave the vote of thanks at the launch, encouraged more individuals to give, as he believes that it is individual initiative that will transform Jamaica.