By Monique Washington

The Medical University of the Americas and the Nevis Island Administration are encouraging young people to come out today, Feb. 2, to their open day for the upcoming MUA/NIA scholarship 2018-2019, aimed at encouraging young people into a career in medicine or science.

The scholarship program, now in its seventh year, has contributed more than US$600,000 in scholarships to 14 recipients. Two recipients will be awarded the scholarship toward the pursuit of undergraduate studies, which lead to a degree at an accredited higher learning institution. Each recipient receives US$22,000 per year.

Past scholarship recipient Ariel Wilkinson said that the scholarship was a lifesaver. “It was a struggle to find [people] to stand with me for a loan since my aunt who took on the responsibility of raising me after the passing of my mom was already on two loans out of the five children she had to raise,” she said. “I felt discouraged about the possibility going to further my education until I heard about the MUA/NIA scholarship.”

She said that the benefits of the program covered her airfare to Jamaica, where she studied at the UWI Mona campus, as well as her tuition and housing cost. “Nichole Slack-Liburd (the permanent secretary in Health) made numerous checkups and gave encouraging words,” Wilkinson added. “It felt good to know that other [people] out there were concerned. I lived comfortably and I was able to focus on my higher education without the stress of money problems.” She used the scholarship to earn a bachelor of science in biology education.

Also giving brief remarks was Junior Minister in Health the Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams. She said that over the year MUA has helped the NIA in making scholarships available to young persons in the area of medical science. She thanked the school for providing the scholarship and encourage person to take advantage of the scholarship.

“Once you access a scholarship of this nature you can rest assure and study in comfort,” she said.

The open day event will begin at 1-5 p.m. at the Memorial square in Charlestown. The event will be hosted by the scholarship committee and they will be on hand to offer advice and information on the application process.