By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT
BAHAMAS First has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with University of The Bahamas for the issuance of a $40,000 four-year scholarship.
Patrick Ward, president and CEO of Bahamas First, said the signing is a commitment to the deepened partnership between his company and the university.
“I’m pleased to sign here today on behalf of the board of directors and the executive leadership team of the Bahamas First Group to affix my signature to this Memorandum of Understanding establishing a Bahamas First Emerging Leader Scholarship Award,” Mr Ward said.
“In our industry, a signature is more than just a jot of ink on a sheet of paper. It endorses a promise and guarantees a pledge and seals an agreement.
“I firmly believe that this signing is an important event in the history of our company that will continue and deepen the partnership and close cooperation that has existed between Bahamas First and the university over the years.”
Mr Ward boasted that there is no mistake that The Bahamas’ first university and The Bahamas’ first locally established general insurance company have entered into an agreement to support the youth of the country in their pursuit of education.
He continued, “It is said that education is for improving the lives of others and leaving your community and world better than you found it.
“The Bahamas First Insurance Emerging Leaders Scholarship is a comprehensive four-year award that will unlock the door to education for high school seniors who possess the potential to succeed, but struggle with doubts about their next steps because of their family’s financial insecurity.
“Our pledge today, which is backed by our annual contribution of $10,000, is to help the door to education to swing open wider than it has before and to usher qualified students into the leading-edge disciplines of business, information technology, echo tourism, sustainability and engineering.”
He said, equipped with the scholarship, the recipients can be independent thinkers and creative problem solvers who will transform their communities and this country.
Dr Rodney Smith, UB president, said the scholarship can assist with the university’s mission to drive national development.
“This gift will be used to create the Bahamas First Insurance Emerging Leaders Scholarship Award,” Dr Smith said. “This award is given in honour of long-standing board of directors, who served Bahamas First with integrity and dedication.
“The donation of scholarship funds supports the university’s mission to drive national development through teaching, research, innovation and service to the community.
“Providing greater access to tertiary education is a part of the mission of the University of The Bahamas and donations like this one significantly helps to increase access for students across the archipelago.”
He said students who choose to study business administration, business management, information technology, mathematics, eco-tourism, sustainability or engineering will have the opportunity to benefit from this merit based four-year scholarship.
Also on hand for the signing was Dino Hernandez, vice president of institutional advancement and alumni affairs, who said Bahamas First’s financial commitment demonstrates the potential of students to make a profound impact on the country.
“This $40,000 financial commitment demonstrates, not only Bahamas First Insurance Group’s support of the university, but also the potential of our students to make a profound and enduring impact on our nation.
“As emerging leaders, students will receive leadership development training, out of the classroom scholarly experiences and co-curricular exposure which will contribute to their growth and success,” he said.
Bahamas First will also provide internship opportunities to allow UB students to engage in the professional realm, while they are accomplishing their academic pursuits.