Impact & Testimonials

Headshot of Cassandra Everett

Cassandra Everett

Student At The University Of The West Indies

“The AFT Scholarship significantly impacted the final year of my undergraduate journey at the University of the West Indies. In second year when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in Jamaica and school physically closed, I had to move back home to Portland in rural Jamaica. Not only did the pandemic affect my parents’ income, but it also prevented me from finding temporary employment opportunities, since many companies were not hiring  and because I had to move back home. 

Uncertainty about funding my final year, coupled with the anxiety of finishing school on time put a lot of strain on my parents who tried their best to save as much as possible.  Now, my parents have been relieved of a great deal of burden, I am performing well in my studies and I am on track to graduate this year. The university experience is exciting but financial issues can rob you of that. I am grateful for the American Friends of Jamaica (AFT) Scholarship for believing in a student with dreams and a drive to succeed”

Sarah Webster

Student At The University Of The West Indies​

“It is a privilege to have been a recipient of one of the American Friends of Jamaica awards. With the bursary received, I was able to pay a good portion of my tuition which meant financial relief for my parents. With my father being recently retired and my mothers’ livelihood affected by the COVID-19 restrictions, last semester’s tuition would have been an extra stretch. I am exceedingly grateful for the bursary as it has enabled me to continue my last leg of undergraduate studies with excellence. I am free to continue my academic and life aspirations without the pressure of paying back a loan. I was able to make good use of this bursary as last semester my GPA increased to 4.0. 

This period of online learning has been a major paradigm shift that requires everyone to be adaptable. I have found that though it is challenging not having face to face school, it has allowed me to make the most of every opportunity. I had to learn to be proactive about this situation and not allow my grades to drop because of the additional pressure of school from home. I learnt to focus better by being in a noisy household which is a less than ideal environment. Through it all I was encouraged to persevere as James 1:4 states “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” I have certainly grown in this time and have understood that with a constantly changing world I must continuously adapt and persevere. This bursary encouraged me not to worry but to work hard and trust God. Thank you again for helping me pursue my quest for academic excellence in my final year”

Headshot of Sarah Webster
Headshot of Swayne James

Swayne James

Student At The University Of The West Indies​

“I am a finalizing student at the University of the West Indies currently pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Information Technology. I hope to make my mark in the world by contributing to user experience design and web development. I extend my sincere gratitude to the American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) and the persons who made the ambassador Sue Cobb Scholarship possible. This award has impacted my academic career by giving me more time to focus on my studies and extracurricular activities. It has also affected my personal life by allowing me to go through my final year without worrying about my financial situation, taking the load off myself and my family members. This assistance prompted me to participate in more scholarly activities, such as the Huawei Seeds for the Future program, where I placed second among Jamaica’s batch of interns. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, my school life took a big hit because it was a drastic change in personal habits and functions. I believe that rather than reminiscing on the times when we were free of the COVID-19 virus, we should look to the future and see how we can make the best out of our situation”

Marchell Burton

Student At The University Of The West Indies​

“I am most honoured and humbled to have been selected as a recipient of an AFJ award, such that I am presently in the capacity of a scholar writing a testimonial! I recall being in the clinical area, receiving an unexpected phone call regarding a scholarship interview and as God would have it, the interview process went smoothly and wonderfully. I was and still am overjoyed and grateful that you considered me and through your faith, selected me as a worthy recipient of an AFJ award. The financial aid has contributed to reducing my debt with student loan; which is the main outcome I anticipated. You have propelled me one step closer to creating the quality of life I envision for myself and family. Words truly do not suffice in expressing my gratitude to you for  seeing potential in me and investing in same. Thanks a million! 

Navigating school life during this relentless COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of challenging and mind-altering. As a student registered nurse, I have been in the clinical area working alongside other healthcare professionals, having online lectures, laboratories and post clinical conferences, virtual meetings to complete case studies and video presentations, online study groups and most recently, online mid-semester examinations and a face-to-face clinical examination in the hospital setting. As one can imagine, charting unknown waters requires myself and other students to exude more adaptability, courage and perseverance to come out on the successful side of this pandemic”

Headshot of Marchell Burton​
Headshot of Deandra Ramona Scott

Deandra Ramona Scott

Student At The University Of The West Indies​

I am honoured to have received the Ralph and Ricky Lauren Bursary for the academic year 2020/2021. This bursary has helped my family and me considerably. I am happy to say that I am one step closer to completing my degree in actuarial science. This would not have been possible without the help of this donation. 

I have been able to continue my studies with fewer worries during this coronavirus COVID 19 pandemic. The pandemic has been stressful but through routining, goal setting and the consistent minimization of distractions, I have been able to overcome many of the challenges brought on by virtual learning. My amazing teachers and fellow classmates have also made online learning less difficult. Thank you to The American Friends of Jamaica for investing in my education

Andrea Pink

Student At The University Of The West Indies​

“I hereby express my deepest appreciation for being a beneficiary of the American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) awards for the 2020/2021 academic year. This proved to be more than just ordinary assistance, given my great need due to my adverse financial situation. It facilitated the realization of my ambition in pursuing my bachelor’s in a field of study of choice. 

The period of the COVID-19 pandemic not only brought a health scare but a financial scare as resources and access to funds were severely limited. I was in no position of having options and contacts to whom I could plead, for me I was at a dead end. So, when I say, this was no ordinary assistance, I was not lying. This scholarship made it possible for me to finish my degree on time and in good mental health. Additionally, my self-esteem has been markedly boosted knowing that I am now positioned for my masters, which I shall pursue with all the vim I can muster. I see this as a significant means of extending my appreciation and constantly savor the achievement of the scholarship”

Headshot of Andrea Pink​
Headshot of Jason Gayle

Jason Gayle

Student At The University Of The West Indies​

“I am truly thankful to American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) for selecting me as a recipient of the Ambassador Glen Holden Bursary, as it had allowed me to pursue my studies without worrying about my financial burden onset by the pandemic. As a recipient of an AFJ award, I had realized that a truly heavy burden had been lifted from me. This had been due to me not having to worry about being barred from sitting my final exams due to my fees not being paid.

Granted, the prior semester had still been rather difficult, especially since I still had adjust to the online modality of teaching and learning, however since I did not have to worry about my finances, it had allowed me to perform far more efficiently than I had in the past, and had brought my degree GPA to 3.92, alongside bringing my semester GPA back up to 3.6. Thus, I am once again eternally grateful that the AFJ had invested in my future as it had allowed me to reach one step closer to my goal in spite of my unfortunate circumstances due to the pandemic”

Nafeesa Dawes

Student At The University Of The West Indies​

“After finding the courage to open an email from the UWI Office of Student Financing, I read in shock. I was elated to learn that I had received the 2020 Kevin Paul Akindele Wright Memorial Bursary. This award gave me the financial clearance needed to sit my final exams. My tuition exceeds the maximum loan offered by the Students’ Loan Bureau, so I need to seek additional funding each year. This bursary has lifted that burden for me. 

Learning online during a pandemic has its fair share of challenges: technical issues, distractions, and lack of motivation, to name a few. To stay motivated, I now think of my home as a workspace rather than a place of comfort. It was hard at first, but I eventually adapted. To the American Friends of Jamaica, thank you for the opportunity to continue my university studies. I am honored to have benefited from your decades of service to the Jamaican people”

Headshot of Nafeesa Dawes ​
Headshot of Kimani Allen

Kimani Allen

Student At The University Of The West Indies​

“My name is Kimani Allen, I am a full-time student enrolled in the Actuarial Science programme. Being a final year student, I am well acquainted with the rigours of the programme along with the work, dedication, and focus needed to fulfill the objectives to be deemed qualified for a degree in Actuarial Science. Being awarded the Ralph & Ricky Lauren Bursary is a blessing, a prayer answered, and a stress reliever as it reduced the financial burden, now I can focus even more on my studies without worrying about whether I will be financially cleared to sit my exams and so I thank you all.

During the pandemic, so far it has been a bit more difficult especially with classes being online and having to always make sure that I have a proper internet connection. Another hurdle is the curfew which has limited my daily activities but with all the negatives there are still positives, great or small I have to be grateful for them because things could be a lot worse.”

Devonie Gray

Student At The University Of The West Indies​

“I am truly honoured to be the recipient of the Ambassador J.Gary Cooper Bursary for the academic year 2020/2021. Lack of finance has been the greatest barrier on my path to success, but regardless of the situation it has never been too hard to prevent me from performing excellently in my academics. It brought me joy to know that my financial barrier has been reduced significantly because of the AFJ’s generosity and major donation. It even motivates me to work even harder knowing that someone cares. 

As it relates to university life, schooling has been online ever since the declaration of the pandemic and it definitely has been hard to make the  transition from face to face studies to online studies. However, the fighting spirit in me allows me to adapt to changes and work accordingly towards achieving the common goal of finishing my studies regardless of whatever times we are living in”  

Headshot of Devonie Gray​
Campers at JASY Summer Camp

Msgr. Richard Albert​

Founder St. Patrick’s Foundation

“The children who have attended the JASY camps truly appreciate the experience as the activities have an uplifting effect on their lives physically, emotionally and spiritually. Some of the youth have begun to see life from a different perspective, not just poverty; and besides putting a smile on their faces it has given them a chance to use their God-given talents. One of the major problems in Jamaica is that there is a lack of hope that anything will get better and JASY offers these young people a spirit of hope and love”

Ms. Melecia Dougherty

TEACH English Teacher (Head of English Dept, Mile Gully High school)

“The children who have attended the JASY camps truly appreciate the experience as the activities have an uplifting effect on their lives physically, emotionally and spiritually. Some of the youth have begun to see life from a different perspective, not just poverty; and besides putting a smile on their faces it has given them a chance to use their God-given talents. One of the major problems in Jamaica is that there is a lack of hope that anything will get better and JASY offers these young people a spirit of hope and love”
Ms. Dougherty in centre with fellow teachers
TEACH English

Ms. Helen Baxendale

TEACH English teacher, Australian Rhodes Scholar

“The children who have attended the JASY camps truly appreciate the experience as the activities have an uplifting effect on their lives physically, emotionally and spiritually. Some of the youth have begun to see life from a different perspective, not just poverty; and besides putting a smile on their faces it has given them a chance to use their God-given talents. One of the major problems in Jamaica is that there is a lack of hope that anything will get better and JASY offers these young people a spirit of hope and love”