Created: Sep 17, 2022 07:58 AM
Jason and Gary Scholarship Fund award recipients Micah Simmons, second from left, Damariano Correia and Jahni Darrell. Pictured at left is a friend who accepted on behalf of Kevin Davis-Edwards (Photograph Colin Thomspon)
Jason and Gary Scholarship Fund committee members, partners Department of Workforce Development, Minister of Labor Jason Hayward and scholarship recipients pose for a group photo at the Department of Workforce Development (Photograph by Colin Thompson)
Jason and Gary Scholarship Fund founder and committee chairman Janeiro Tucker, left, scholarship recipient Damariano Corriea, center, and Minister of Labor Jason Hayward (Photograph Colin Thompson)
Bermuda College students Kevin Davis-Edwards, Micah Simmons, Jahni Darrell and Damariano Corriea are the first beneficiaries of a Scholarship Fund honoring late Southampton Rangers cricketer Gary Crofton and footballer Jason Raynor.
The funding was raised during a memorial cricket tournament held at Southampton Oval in April won by White Lightning who defeated Warwick in the final.
A total of $6,700 was raised at the event which has been granted to Simmons and Darrell to cover costs for their schoolbooks.
Corriea and Davis-Edwards both received full scholarships to attend college courtesy of the Department of Workforce Development, who have partnered with the Jason and Gary Scholarship Fund committee headed up by Southampton Rangers player-coach Janeiro Tucker.
Cancer sufferer Crofton passed away in 2020 while Raynor died this year from unknown causes.
“In the last two years I have lost two brothers,” Tucker said at an award presentation held at the Department of Workforce Development yesterday. “We’ve done this to keep their name and legacy going. I thought it would be a good idea to help young Black men in Bermuda because we are losing too many of them, so I got a committee together.
“We are trying to raise as much as possible to help out the youth of this country.”
Teresa Simons, Monique Bailey, Shanalette Burchall, Shawnette Simons, Akelya Furbert, Elizabeth Leverock and Leroyce Mills are the remaining committee members.
Also attending the ceremony was Minister of Labor Jason Hayward who thanked Tucker’s committee for investing in the island’s young people.
“I certainly would like to thank the management of Southampton Rangers committee for investing back into our young persons intriguingly interested in the career field that these young persons will be taking up — and that’s in the area of Stem [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] which our trades are in,” he said.
“This is directly in line with what we are trying to do with our youth employment strategy to ensure we partner with organizations that create opportunities for our young persons to get the skills they need to enter the world of work.
“This is what we have to encourage within our community clubs and the Government will be happy to partner with initiatives that actually add value to our young people and get them back employed.”
The minister noted that the island’s youth employment rate is now at an “unacceptable level”.
But he said the Government is making a “concerted effort” to reduce the level of young persons who are unemployed or face barriers entering the workplace.
Minister Hayward also urged the scholarship recipients to make the most of the opportunity.
“To the persons who are receiving the support, certainly congratulations first and foremost,” he added.
“But don’t take this opportunity for granted because there are a lot of young persons who don’t have access to this particular support.
“Please make the best of the opportunity you have in front of you.
“These are some of the defining years of your lives and you have to ensure that you are utilizing it in productive activity that creates value for your community.
“Positive behaviors generate positive results.”
Also present at the presentation were former cricketer Allen Richardson and Malika Cartwright on behalf of Jason and Gary Fund partners Department of Workforce Development.
“I just want to say thank-you to the young gentlemen,” department director Cartwright said. “Take advantage of this opportunity and learn all that you can.
“Ask for assistance; we are not just here to hand you a check and send you over to college.
“Mr Richardson and the entire team of Workforce Development is here to assist you with all of the support you need.”