Jamaican Adventist church celebrates youth excellence with grand awards banquet 

On Sunday, September 10, the grounds of the Dinthill Technical Excessive Faculty in Linstead, St. Catherine, Jamaica, glittered with the promise of a brighter future. The varsity’s grounds, often buzzing with the energetic chatter of scholars, had been remodeled right into a hub of celebration. For a lot of gathered, it was not simply an awards banquet – it was a testomony to the church’s dedication to uplift its youth.

A basis rooted in religion and neighborhood

Central to the occasion stood the Powered by a Dream Basis (PDF), a company stemming from the Palm Seventh Day Adventist church in Linstead, St Catherine.

PDF banquet
The Dinthill Technical Excessive Faculty’s auditorium adorned in celebration of the tenth anniversary of PDF’s awards banquet
(Picture credit score: Central Jamaica Convention of SDA church buildings)

Commemorating its tenth anniversary and its eleventh staging, the Powered by a Dream Basis acknowledged over 70 college students below the theme “Attain Up! Attain Out! Striving for Excellence!”

This yr’s awards banquet was held below the patronage of the College of Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC), with distinguished friends corresponding to UCC’s President Professor Haldane Davies, visitor speaker Dr. Bongelo Gombele, and the Vice President of Pupil Providers of the Northern Caribbean College (NCU) Mrs. Carolyn Marie Smith. 

From humble beginnings to transformative influence

The 2019 cohort of the Powered by a Dream Basis, previously referred to as ‘Energy of a Dream’. (Contributed photograph)

Initiated in August 2013, the verdant lawns of the Palm Seventh Day Adventist church within the quaint Treadways neighborhood in Linstead, turned an epicenter of educational celebration. 

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The annual banquet celebrates college students for his or her efficiency in what was as soon as referred to as the Grade Six Achievement Take a look at (GSAT), now known as the Major Exit Profile (PEP) examinations, in addition to within the Caribbean Secondary Schooling Certificates (CSEC) examinations and the Caribbean Superior Proficiency (CAPE) examinations.

Moreover, selective college students are bestowed with particular awards in recognition of their notable achievements.

From lauding simply 15 awardees in 2013, the muse has blossomed, touching the lives of over 600 college students in its decade-long journey.

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The distinguished ceremony: Awarding tutorial excellence 

Students at PDF banquet
2023 PDF awardees seated for the tenth anniversary of the muse’s awards banquet. (Picture credit score: Central Jamaica Convention of SDA church buildings)

As a whole bunch convened for the occasion on Sunday, the ambiance was thick with pleasure.

Dad and mom, educators, household associates, and well-wishers beamed with pleasure as they watched each youngsters and youths grace the stage to obtain their awards. 

Marshaye Lounds
Marshaye Lounds proudly receives her prizes from Kenneth Morrison, PDF Director (Outdated Habor chapter) for her excellent efficiency on the PDF’s awards banquet on September 10, 2023. (Picture credit score: Central Jamaica Convention of SDA church buildings)

One such mother or father was Marsha Lounds, a single mom from the Palm SDA church, who skilled immense delight as her daughter, Marshaye Lounds, 13, acquired one other accolade.

Having beforehand been acknowledged for her excellent efficiency within the PEP exams, Marshaye continued to deliver honor to her household and associates by persistently excelling all through her first two years of highschool. 

Whereas the church has considerably contributed to her daughter’s achievements, Lounds believes the passing of her husband instilled a profound drive in her daughter to excel additional.

“I’ve seen her go to his portrait along with her awards and saying ‘Dad I did it once more!’.  I feel his loss of life acts as a type of motivation,” Lounds shared emotionally. 

She additional mentioned that she hopes that her daughter will preserve her dedication in her aspiration to develop into a pathologist, an unconventional selection for a lot of.

Offering alternatives for Jamaican youths 

Whereas some college students radiated with pleasure as they acquired recognition for his or her tutorial performances, others had been elated and stunned after they had been granted scholarships to proceed their tutorial pursuits. 

Jamaican academic establishments just like the NCU generously offered 4 scholarships, whereas the UCC granted scholarships to a few deserving college students.

Julene Gonzales
Julene Gonzales receives her prizes and scholarship from UCC President, Professor Haldane Davies, on the PDF’s awards banquet on September 10, 2023. (Picture credit score: Central Jamaica Convention of SDA church buildings)

Among the many recipients was 23-year-old Julene Gonzales who not solely secured the UCC scholarship but additionally earned the distinctive “I Imagine” award from the PDF, a particular award given to excellent college students from the church’s neighborhood. 

Gonzales’ pleasure and gratitude for this newfound alternative to advance her training had been palpable.

“My absence from an academic establishment over time after finishing the sixth type program at Dinthill has actually demotivated me, however with this extraordinary help and religion invested in me I’m renewed, energized, and fueled to achieve up, attain out, and try for excellence,” she mentioned excitedly.

She additional expressed, “This scholarship now signifies that an amazing monetary burden has been lifted and I can pursue a tertiary training which has been my dream for a few years; all because of the commendable work of the Powered by a Dream Basis and the College of the Commonwealth Caribbean.”

Gonzales additionally emphasised the position of the Palm Seventh Day Adventist Church in rekindling her hope, including that she is now planning to embark on her new tutorial journey.

“With this scholarship in hand, I’m decided to harness my tutorial potential to pursue a Bachelor’s diploma in Tourism and Hospitality Administration at UCC. My enrolment is about for the educational yr 2024/2025, marking the beginning of my mission to attain greatness,” she shared.

A beacon of hope and goals

Pastor Rayon Daley of the Palm SDA district of church buildings presents a certificates and money award to the mom of 4-year-old particular wants youngster, Garcianna Gordon, to help her daughter’s tuition charges. (Picture credit score: Central Jamaica Convention of SDA church buildings)

The journey of the PDF doesn’t cease at tutorial recognition. It has developed right into a lifeline for a lot of, extending help to youngsters and youths of the church and neighborhood in want of economic help. 

As the muse displays on its legacy, board member Lisa Ramsay is happy with the profound distinction each the muse and church have made within the lives of Jamaican youths.

One story stands out for Ramsay – that of a gifted scholar who, resulting from monetary constraints, discovered himself unable to register on the College of West Indies (UWI). 

“He was an excellent particular person, on the cusp of attending UWI, however lacked the mandatory funds. It was PDF that stepped in, granting him $100,000 as his preliminary college fee. Not solely did he start his training, however he additionally earned scholarships at UWI for his tutorial excellence and finally graduated with honors,” she reminisced.

Ramsay radiates optimism when contemplating PDF’s future. She foresees the muse amplifying its influence, reaching out much more extensively inside the neighborhood. 

“I envision an excellent wider influence on the neighborhood as we endeavor to achieve all we will in a significant method. In spite of everything, serving our fellowmen is as Christ-like as we will get. Moreover, I foresee beneficiaries giving again by being future sponsors and even giving again to their communities by way of service and nation-building,” she mentioned.

“Additionally, I envision extra people and company sponsors approaching board as extra individuals find out about this basis,” she added confidently.

Having been intricately concerned in PDF’s administration from the start, Ramsay cherishes her journey with the muse, stating “It’s a humbling and satisfying feeling to have the ability to serve mankind.”

PDF’s growth: Greater than only a banquet

Throughout the difficult instances of the pandemic, the muse continued to serve and prolonged right into a district-wide occasion, together with 5 different church buildings inside the space.

Coincidentally, it was throughout that pivotal yr that the muse achieved its charitable standing, following its official registration.

The influence of the PDF resonates far past its annual banquets. Occasions just like the Annual PDF Homecoming, PDF Consecration Service, Bazaar Extravaganza, PDF annual Run Stroll, and Profession Expo reveal the muse’s multifaceted engagement strategy.

PDF’s wide-reaching influence

Fueled by ardent help and monetary contributions from the church, the neighborhood, these within the diaspora, and even previous awardees, the ‘Powered by a Dream Basis’ stands as a monumental beacon of hope. 

Its rising chapters within the Outdated Harbor and Tom’s River Seventh Day Adventist church buildings are additionally a testomony to its wide-reaching affect.

The inspiration believes it binds the neighborhood, strengthens religion, and leads many nearer to the Kingdom of God.

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