Scotia Foundation donates over $8.5m to help prepare Grade 6 PEP students for new school year

KINGSTON, JAMAICA - September 11, 2022 – More than one thousand (1000) primary school students now preparing for the Grade 6 Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examinations next year, have benefited from an initiative valued at over $8.5 million dollars, spearheaded by the Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation (Scotia Foundation).

The full cohort of students currently enrolled in Grade Six at eight primary schools across the island have received book vouchers valued at $5,000, stationery including backpacks and, in some parishes, dental services and supplies from the Foundation’s partners – the Kingston & St. Andrew Health Department and Colgate Palmolive.

Yanique Forbes-Patrick, Vice President Public Affairs and Communications of Scotia Group Jamaica and Director of the Scotia Foundation noted the Bank’s renewed commitment to its philanthropic programmes and willingness to support educational and training-based initiatives via the Scotia Foundation.

“Scotiabank is committed to the positive development of our communities and believes that by supporting the education of Jamaican youth, the Bank is playing an integral role in helping to secure the financial well-being and independence of future generations,” Forbes-Patrick highlighted. She further shared that the 2022 back-to school programme is also being hosted in commemoration of the Bank’s 133 years of operation and service to Jamaica.

The Bank selected students attending schools located in proximity to its islandwide network of branches including St. Aloysius Primary School in Kingston, Corinaldi Primary School and Flankers Primary and Junior High School in Montego Bay, Mandeville Primary & Junior High School in Mandeville, St. Ann’s Bay Primary School, Time and Patience Primary School in Linstead, McAuley Primary School in Spanish Town and the Port Maria Primary School in St. Mary. Staff volunteers from the Bank also played a key role in organizing and executing the series of back-to-school treats which concluded on September 9.

Responding to the assistance provided for students at the Mandeville Primary School was Howard Salmon, Principal, who said “Our parents and our students are very appreciative of the assistance that is being provided during these challenging times and we will put it to good use.” Meanwhile, at St. Aloysius Primary, Tracey Taffe Thompson, guidance counsellor, spoke to the social and emotional aspect of the initiative saying, “This has allowed them (the students) to see that there are still persons in the community who care about them and want to see them do well.”

Forbes-Patrick acknowledged the difficulties and financial hardships that many families continue to face and pledged the Bank’s support. “During the heights of the pandemic, the Foundation shifted focus to providing support for healthcare and facilitating remote learning opportunities, however, this current initiative signals our physical return to the community and along with our vibrant team of employee volunteers, we intend to dedicate not only financial support, but also time and mentorship to help bring out the best in our youth.”

The Scotia Foundation’s back-to school programme also aligns with the Bank’s global philanthropic focus – ScotiaRISE- aimed at building economic resilience by helping individuals, households, communities, and economies to thrive under a broad range of circumstances.