Monday 22 July, 2019

Total Jamaica scholarship winners off to Bordeaux, France

Melissa Anderson, human resources manager, Total Jamaica, looks on as Chris Okonmah, managing director, Total Jamaica, presents 2018 scholarship winner Gabrielle Buddoo with her bursay. At right is Lisa Vasciannie, lecturer, international relations and coordinator, French-Caribbean Programme, University of the West Indies

Melissa Anderson, human resources manager, Total Jamaica, looks on as Chris Okonmah, managing director, Total Jamaica, presents 2018 scholarship winner Gabrielle Buddoo with her bursay. At right is Lisa Vasciannie, lecturer, international relations and coordinator, French-Caribbean Programme, University of the West Indies

Total Jamaica reaffirmed the French multinational company’s commitment to education locally by unveiling its 2018 Bordeaux scholarship winners at a Devon House send-off luncheon on Friday, September 14, hosted by new managing director Chris Okonmah.

Samantha Powell, 21and Gabrielle Buddoo, 22, were recipients scholarships valued at 6,000 Euro to spend the next academic year at Sciences Po Bordeaux in France as exchange students in the French-Caribbean programme.

Launched in 2008, the study programme is a tripartite agreement involving Sciences Po Bordeaux, France, partnering with University of the West Indies, Mona, and University des Antilles, Martinique. Sciences Po Bordeaux celebrated the 10th anniversary of the exchange programme in January this year.

Powell and Buddoo completed their first year at UWI, Mona, and will move on to Bordeaux before returning briefly to Jamaica, then onto Martinique for their third year, en route to acquiring a master’s in political science and international relations, years four and five completed in France and Jamaica, respectively.

Okonmah, who presented the young women with their bursaries, said, this initiative, among many others, is part of Total’s values and interest in investing in young talent, ensuring they gain the necessary skills to be successful.

He added that Total, a fourth-year sponsor of Jamaican students, is proud to support the Bordeaux study programme and her is confident that the students will eventually return to contribute to the socio-economic development of Jamaica.

Meanwhile, the pair of shy but focused scholarship recipients expressed their gratitude as they looked forward to living their dreams of studying in France.

Photo caption: Chris Okonmah, managing director, Total Jamaica, presents Total Jamaica 2018 scholarship recipient, Samantha Powell, with her bursary.

“It's all things that I love - French, politics and international relations. It was like a dream come true. This scholarship will help so much. I am grateful for it,” said Buddoo, a Holy Childhood High graduate.

Powell, who attended Rusea’s High in Lucea, Hanover, said she will miss her tight-knit family but is focused on completing her studies.

“I adapt to change very well. I am sociable but I love my family. I will cry but, being the eldest, I am setting a path for my siblings, as the first from my family to attend university,” she said.

Lisa Vasciannie, lecturer, international relations, and coordinator of the French-Caribbean programme at UWI, Mona, thanked Total for its ongoing commitment.

“It's really a programme that speaks about cooperation and I really want to thank Total for the support so far,” Vasciannie said.

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