Scholarship Fund Makes Dreams of Aspiring Educators Come True
Education majors Ryan Rolle and Cheyenne Bullard have the distinction of being the first Gillian Scates Memorial Scholars at University of The Bahamas (UB) and their educational journey will help to keep the legacy of the late educator and mentor alive.
Ryan was honoured to have been selected as he said he is the first native of Bannerman Town, a small settlement in Eleuthera, to attend UB.
“I would like to thank Mr. Rusty Scates and his family. Opportunities like this are only seen in the dreams of young people in Bannerman Town. I would like to thank Mrs. Gillian Scates for her awesomeness, her bravery, her enthusiasm and being pertinacious towards the goal of educating every child that she could,” he said.
For more than four decades Gillian Scates, who emigrated from the United Kingdom, instructed, mentored and developed students of St. Andrew’s School and Queen’s College. After teaching in The Bahamas for 42 years, she retired in June 2014 and passed away in October 2016.
On Tuesday, 22nd August, Gillian’s husband Rusty Scates and Anne Lever, a friend of the family, thanked everyone who contributed to the scholarship fund recently launched in Gillian’s honour. They also vowed to support the scholars who will benefit. They presented a cheque to UB President Dr. Rodney D. Smith in the amount of $30,800.
UB’s Academic Enhancement and Summer Bridging initiatives exemplify the University’s determination to make higher learning more easily accessible as some persons face financial hurdles which prevent them from achieving their goal. Dr. Smith explained that scholarships help great minds to develop.
“Scholarships provide students with amazing opportunities. They open doors that may have been closed or simply may not have been open wide enough. I am pleased that the Scates family has committed to making this investment in two future nation builders and by doing so, they demonstrate their confidence in the University,” he noted.
A selection committee interviewed six education majors as potential scholarship recipients. The scholarship, which was initially intended to be granted to one student, was extended to serve two students as the committee found itself enamored with both Ryan Rolle and Cheyenne Bullard.
“I did not expect to get the memorial scholarship and because I got it, it has taken a load off of me. I had to call my grandmother because I was so excited,” Cheyenne said with great emotion.
Ms. Lever explained the motivation of the benefactors and the intent of selecting education majors as the recipients.
“We thought we’d just give the scholarship to a student and then we thought, if we give the scholarship to a teacher, that teacher will, like Gill, impact many lives,” she remarked.
Rusty Scates was happy to have been involved in the undertaking and particularly pleased to have helped the two scholars.
“We are very proud to be able to have done this, to take the load off you and to allow you to focus on your studies and to go on and become educators like Gill was. Her students were an extension of our family, and she got results,” he said.
UB invites others who are looking to memorialize the life and legacy of a loved one to partner with the institution in order to make the dream of a university education come true.
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