Career & Education

'Build your own awesome success'

Young entrepreneur encourages Burger King scholars

Sunday, August 26, 2018

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Randy McLaren knows a thing or two about success, having built the popular local Bresheh Enterprises brand of bags, so when he told recipients of the 2018 Burger King Scholarships to build their own awesome success this past week, it was coming from a place of experience.

McLaren was guest speaker at the scholarship awards ceremony at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel last Monday, where Restaurant Associates Ltd — local franchisees for Burger King, Popeyes and Little Caesar's Pizza — presented $3.8 million in scholarships, bursaries and book grants.

“Burger King is depending on you. Your family is depending on you, and your teachers are depending on you to excel and create your awesome story,” McLaren said, in direct reference to Burger King's “Awesome” advertising campaign.

Recounting his own story as a beneficiary of several scholarships, McLaren told the scholars, including students heading to university and high school, “a scholarship run de ting!” and advised them to be willing to go the extra mile to get to where they want to go.

“Understand that what you have in your head no one can take from you. Choose your friends wisely, and don't get distracted from the real reason why you are in school,” the entrepreneur added.

Responding on behalf of the 24 awardees, Ana Kay Hudson, one of two recipients of the Burger King Open Tertiary Scholarship, said the awards were “an opportunity to move from being a small fry to a large fry. From a small soda to a large soda so we should all go large and be awesome”.

Noting that not everyone is lucky to get exactly what they need at the right time, she said that the Burger King scholarships are “more than financial assistance and will help us realise our dreams and put us in a position to contribute to our country”.

“Thank you for believing in us and renewing our motivation,” Hudson concluded.

Sabrena McDonald Radcliffe, Restaurant Associates' head of sales and marketing said the awards are the company's way of investing in Jamaica's future leaders who currently have economic challenges.

“Each year, we get hundreds of responses when we advertise the Burger King Scholarships. We are always moved by the determination of the applicants to excel academically as well as their efforts to serve in their communities. Many face limiting economic and social challenges, yet their resolve to do well and give generously to others is not limited. Our scholarships honour these virtues and we feel privileged to provide the much-needed funds to help them on their academic journey,” she said.

Among the list of 2018 Burger King Scholars is Tatayana Graham who starts studies towards a BSc in Science and Technology at The University of the West Indies (The UWI), Mona in September. She copped the Lois Sherwood Scholarship, named for the chairman of Restaurant Associates Ltd and awarded annually to a student of St Andrew High School for Girls who embodies excellence in academics and community service. Sherwood is an alumna of the school. The scholarship is valued at $900,000, payable over three years.

The Rodwell Lake scholarship, meanwhile, was presented to Rhagete Pryce who will be pursuing a BSc in Microbiology and Biochemistry at The UWI. Named for the late father of three of the companies directors and valued at $900,000 payable over three years, this scholarship goes annually to an upper sixth form student of St George's College who embodies excellence in academics and community service. Mr Lake is an alumnus of St George's College.

The Lois Sherwood and Rodwell Lake bursaries, each valued at $100,000 for one year, were presented to The UWI-bound students Davina Russell (BSc Physics) and Matthew Campbell (BSc Medical Sciences and Radiology).

The Burger King Open Tertiary Scholarship, which was introduced last year, attracted over 239 applicants this year. McDonald Radcliffe noted that “these were of such a high standard that we decided to give two scholarships in this category instead of one.” The awardees were Anna Kay Hudson, who won $900,000 payable over three years for the pursuit of a BSc general; and actuarial science student Nickolye Graham, who won $300,000 for one year.

In addition, the Lois Sherwood Art Scholarship of $200,000 for one year went to Amelia Wellington, final year Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts student.

Burger King Scholarships of $50,000 payable over five years were also awarded to a number of students who were successful in this year's Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT). Among the awardees were Jordan Taffe, Campion College; Sherone Taylor and Alsade Daley, Immaculate Conception High School; Yatneil Walters and Travaughn Hines, Jamaica College; and Carissa Barrett, Holy Childhood High.

The Valda Ormsby Scholarship of $50,000 over five years for a student of Kellits Primary School awarded a place at Clarendon College went to Latavia Benjamin. The scholarship is named for Burger King's General Manager who is an alumna of Kellits.

Ten other students who achieved high marks at GSAT and were in the top 20 ranking for 2018 Burger King GSAT Scholarships received book grants of $15,000 each. They included Dontae Goulbourne, Wolmer's Boys'; Twyla Bent, Glenmuir High; Akilah Adams, Jamellia Patrick, Jamia Williamson and Serena Edwards, Immaculate Conception High; and Justin Mitchell, Kashief Barton, Priyanka Pabarsingh and Samuel Streete, Campion College.

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