By Shanique Richards
St. Kitts Reporter
Best For Less has partnered with Basseterre Senior High School through the Ministry of Education and officially launched their Student Scholarship & Apprenticeship Program. The first recipient of this award is Tijay Dolphin who attends the Basseterre Senior High School and aspires to become a technical engineer.
On Monday, Dolphin received his first installment of EC$500 which is only half of the financial assistance to be offered by the company. In addition, Dolphin will also be employed by the firm to work on weekends and holidays to gain hands-on business experience.
Dolphin said he was he will be using this award as another stepping stone towards his career goals.
“This is not only a job opportunity to me but it allows me to further my education as I am now studying to be a technical engineer. I am very grateful and I can now get a better grasp on my future. Although I’m not too academically inclined still I am trying my best,” said Dolphin.
Noah Mills, Master of Ceremonies, introduced the Best For Less Scholarship and Apprenticeship Program as another collaboration between the Ministry of Education and the private sector.
“This is yet another idea which has originated with the Ministry of Education and with the help of Mr. Knight and Mr. Fitzroy Wilkin, Best For Less quickly came on board and decided to get involved as a way of giving back to the community,” he said.
Mr. Stanley Knight of BHS told those present how the program was implemented.
“This programme started as an initiative by the Ministry of Education to give children who want to do better in their studies a second chance. We have had instances in the past, not just at the Basseterre High School but at many schools throughout the Federation where students leave school without completing the entire programme. The Education Department in a meeting last school year basically asked ‘Can you find a way to assist these students?’
“Basseterre High School as always has decided to take the lead and we initiated a programme where we would give students that have demonstrated not necessarily excellence academically but excellence in terms of their application to their work and their behavior a chance to go to fifth form and with the assistance of the AVEC Programme to complete a vocational education where they can become certified in a National Vocation Qualification (NVQ) or Caribbean Vocation Qualification (CVQ).
“Out of this, several businesses were asked to give the selected students financial assistance and Best For Less came on board. Six students were interviewed for this scholarship and of the six Tijay was chosen,” he said.
Mr. Anand Samtani, owner of Best For Less, said the company has intentions of extending this programme and he was pleased to be given the opportunity to give back to the community.
“This has been in my mind for a very long time as Best For Less was openly welcomed by the community of St. Kitts when we opened our business five years ago in 2002, and I am proud to be given the opportunity give back to them.”