Rio Tinto Alcan Scholarship Beneficiaries Grateful For Opportunity – Jamaica Information Service

Several recipients of the Rio Tinto Alcan Scholarship have expressed their gratitude for the opportunity through this provision to pursue training and career development in agriculture.

The scholarship, initiated by Rio Tinto Alcan Incorporated in 2010, provides funding support to young people in need in Saint Catherine, Manchester and Saint Ann who are members of Jamaica 4-H Clubs to pursue secondary and tertiary agricultural studies.

Target parishes are areas where bauxite mining and alumina refining operations were located in the entity for 59 years, before the completion of their local engagements in 2001.

The criteria to be considered are Academic Excellence and Need, with selection led by the Rio Tinto Alcan Scholarships Steering Committee, chaired by the Principal of Holmwood Technical High School in Manchester, Hedran McCulsky.

The scholarship programme, funded through the Rio Tinto Alcan Legacy Fund (RTALF), administered by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), aims to enhance social development activities by investing in the skills training and advancement of recipients.

Both DBJ and Jamaica 4-H Clubs are subscribed to the Pioneer Fund and Scholarship Programme.

Speaking at a recent semi-virtual introduction ceremony, 11th grader at Winston Jones High School in Manchester, Ragon Fuller, shared that the scholarship, which he learned from an agricultural sciences teacher, “helped me a lot” with the cost of books, uniforms, transportation to and from school and exam fees “More recently, an online learning tool.”

As a result of this support, he said, his high school years have been rewarding, “Thanks to the support of [partner stakeholders]”.

“We commend the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, the Rio Tinto Alcan Heritage Fund and the Jamaica Development Bank for making this agricultural scholarship possible for the many students who really need this help,” Rigaon added.

Referring to his career goal of becoming an agricultural sciences teacher, he noted that he would attend the College of Agriculture, Science, and Education (CASE) in Portland after graduating from high school, “and would apply again for another Rio Tinto scholarship.”

Congratulating his fellow scientists, Rejaun called on them to ‘let’s do our part in encouraging other high school and college students to take advantage of this’ [scholarship] an opportunity”.

This ruling “really and dramatically changed my life,” said Omarsha Darlington, a fourth-year CASE student pursuing a Bachelor of Technology in agricultural production and food systems management, and a recipient of multiple scholarships.

Mrs. Darlington, who has been in 4-H Club for 13 years, hails from Lumsden in St Ann and is a former student at Ferncourt High School in the parish.

She noted that she first heard about the grant through the parish office of 4-H Clubs St.

“However, during my first year at CASE I decided to apply and succeeded, awarded twice after that,” she added.

Ms Darlington recounted that she was initially unable to fund her studies, “but with the help of the Rio Tinto scholarship, I was able to balance all the credits with the foundation”.

She aspires to become an agricultural consultant and'[impart] my knowledge, both in my community and in the wider diaspora. “

“I also hope, one day, to open a processing facility in my area, where I see the economic value of commodities that are often wasted,” she also said.

Ms. Darlington thanked 4-H Clubs, RTALF and DBJ “for continuing to provide an important pathway for students to realize their agricultural dreams”.

CASE alumnus, Chanel Humes, who has a Bachelor of Science in Plant Science, has been a Rio Tinto scholarship recipient for four years of her studies.

She described the ruling as a “great tool” to help high school and college students who are unable to afford their studies.

Ms Humes said not only was she able to complete her program at CASE, “but I also met very influential people both locally and internationally”.

As a result, she said she was among 15 students who were selected to work and study in Israel for one year.

“Having completed my studies at CASE, I am now the Director of Sales and Marketing at Model Agricultural Production Limited…The Israeli Farm in Jamaica,” she advised.

The extensive farm, located in Inswood, St. Catherine, uses techniques that fusing Israeli technology with the expertise of local agricultural specialists.

Ms Homes expressed gratitude for the opportunity the scholarship afforded her to “become what I am today” and thanked Jamaica 4-H Clubs, whom she called “my family”, for “teaching me the values ​​of being a little ‘big'”.

“Every opportunity I get, I try to encourage young people to apply for this scholarship, not only because it will provide them with education but also a lot [other] The benefits they can receive as a beneficiary. I am forever scholarship ambassador as it paved the way for many opportunities for me.

Their certificates have been endorsed by another fellow benefactor, former Mayday High School student in Clarendon, Andrea Mitchell.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ronald Blake, Executive Director of Jamaica 4-H Clubs, noted that since 2010, $126.57 million in scholarships and grants have been awarded to 1,451 students.

He noted that the allocation of scholarships across the three targeted parishes is “more or less equal,” with Saint Catherine accounting for 38 percent; St Anne’s is 32 per cent, Manchester 30 per cent, while Rio Tinto thanked for investing in providing scholarships and bursaries over the years.

Dr. Blake also expressed his gratitude to the former and current Scholarship Steering Committee members. “They should be commended for the work they have done for nothing,” he said.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Trade, Hazrat. Audley Shaw (R), also in charge of Agriculture and Fisheries, speaks with Executive Director of Jamaica 4-H Clubs, Dr. Ronald Blake, during the near-virtual submission ceremony for the Rio Tinto Alcan Scholarship for the 2021 Heritage Fund, hosted by the entity in Kingston.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Trade, Hazrat. Audley Shaw, also responsible for agriculture and fisheries, was the keynote speaker.

He commended Jamaica 4-H Clubs and DBJ for their collaborative efforts in implementing and directing the Rio Tinto Alcan Scholarship Fund.

The fund was set up to maintain the entity’s contribution to the socio-economic development of Jamaica through agricultural scholarships and scholarships, which, he noted, have helped a large number of young people enrolled in agricultural-based institutions.

Jamaica’s social and economic development is highly dependent on the environment we cultivate for our youth. This environment should be inclusive, prospective and conducive to hone their skills and future prospects. The opportunity to access relevant educational facilities is critical to enhancing this reality.”

Minister of Industry, Investment and Trade, Hazrat. Audley Shaw, who also has responsibility for agriculture and fisheries, addresses the semi-virtual scholarship application ceremony for the Rio Tinto Alcan Legacy Fund 2021, hosted by Jamaica 4-H Clubs in Kingston.

Sophia Brian Terry, Director of Program Implementation at DBJ, noted that the Bank has been involved in a long-standing relationship with Jamaica 4-H clubs, which arose from shared values ​​and the recognition that “without the active and positive participation of our youth in the development of our country, our common future is, to put it mildly, a fair at risk.”

Accordingly, she said DBJ has often assisted the entity with its many programs and projects over the years, with the aim of encouraging young people to realize their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs in agriculture and developing skills to that end.

Ms Brian Terry advised ‘We are pleased to advise that the flagship arrangement between our organisation, which began in 2011…is going very well’.

She noted that the more than 1,450 young people who have benefited from the program, so far, have been “amazing”, adding that DBJ is “very proud to play a role in this kind of progress”.

To date, more than 300 secondary and tertiary students have received scholarships for the 2021/22 academic year.

Steering Committee Chair Hedran McCulsky noted that 400 scholarships are targeted for disbursement this year, while noting that applications will remain open until November 26.

People can visit 4-H Clubs website,, call the main office at 876-927-4050-2, send an email to, or visit their social media platforms on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

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