Ann-Marie Vaz to establish tertiary fund with first month's salary
MP for East Portland, Ann-Marie Vaz
Member of Parliament for Eastern Portland, Ann-Marie Vaz, has announced that she will be using her first month’s salary as an elected representative to establish a tertiary fund for needy young people in her constituency.
Vaz made the commitment in a statement on her Twitter page and there have already been numerous positive responses to the initiative.
The Jamaica Labour Party’s newest MP in the 63-member House of Representatives was sworn-in on April 16, some 12 days after she defeated the People’s National Party’s Damion Crawford in a closely contested by-election.
She reiterated that her interest/entry into representational politics was “not for the sake of employment but for the opportunity to help multiple persons simultaneously.”
She outlined that the fund will be used to assist students at the tertiary level with expenses.
“I promised that if necessary, I would do it myself. I am keeping my word and setting an example,” Vaz said.
“I am also inviting members of the Portland business community to join me as we create opportunities for the next generation,” she added.
Vaz noted that there were many who do not lack the knowledge but rather lacked the opportunity and the resources to make the best of it.
And the first-term MP shared that she was ridiculed for not completing college and does not want that fate to befall any young person.
“I want the young man with engineering skills and the young lady with business or political ambitions to be confident enough to know that if they apply themselves, help will be given,” Vaz stated.
She has had a long history of promoting education. The founder and director of the One Jamaica Foundation said the details on how persons can apply to receive assistance will be disclosed at a later date. She is urging those who supported her vision when she was a caretaker/candidate for the constituency to join her in this venture.
In seeking donations to bolster the fund, Vaz pointed out that the current salary for a non-executive Member of Parliament is just under $300,000 per month.
The scholarships will be focused on specialized studies in hospitality and tourism, skills-training, computer science and other areas that can help to build the constituency she said.