Many young Jamaicans have ambitions of achieving their dreams and realizing their full potential. Whether becoming young entrepreneurs or entering more traditional fields of medicine, law or engineering, youth have a goal to ‘become something in life.’ The reality is that the fulfilment of these dreams is often times hampered or cut short by harsh financial challenges.
For students such as Akeem Thompson of Greater Portmore High School in St. Catherine, Jamaica, achieving their academic goal is within reach with assistance from LASCO Financial Services, through its remittance services arm LASCO MoneyGram.
Thompson is one of 11 students from six high schools in Jamaica who received a part of nearly $100,000 to assist with examination fees for CXC Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate subjects. Through their agent network, LASCO MoneyGram enabled students from Kingston Technical High, Holy Childhood High, Greater Portmore High, Christiana High, Black River High and Central High Schools to pay for three subjects each.
Thompson echoed the sentiments of students and parents who were appreciative of LASCO MoneyGram’s assistance.
“LASCO has made it possible for me to pay for my exams. I thought it would not be possible due to the death of my mom last year; but now I am happy because in spite of the struggles I am going through I can now say someone cares. Thank you LASCO MoneyGram – you made me feel special,” he said.
The future of a nation depends heavily on its ability to provide a strong foundation for youth development and education is a significant part of that foundation. Education is quite costly and often poses a financial challenge for many parents with low income to provide tuition fees, examinations, books and educational material. Craig Morris, guidance counsellor at Black River High has direct experience with these circumstances and applauded LASCO MoneyGram for their timely and heartfelt contribution to his students. “Sometimes we have students with great potential but lacking the financial resources to move forward. LASCO’s assistance is greatly appreciated,” he said.
Morris noted that, an estimated 40 percent of students at the institution face dire challenges to finance examination fees, with many failing to sit the number of examinations for which they were recommended. He says the school has been resourceful in carrying out several fundraising events but the need is still great.
He reiterated that any assistance makes a difference for the students who sit between five and 10 CXC CSEC subjects at a time. “Our students come from varying backgrounds and some face a serious challenge as it relates to finances but if they can find the money to pay for three subjects and LASCO MoneyGram gives them three more, then that’s double the number of subjects and they are far better off than where they started,” he said.
Jacinth Hall Tracey, managing director, LASCO Financial Services emphasized the company’s commitment to education and the development of youth, especially at this crucial stage.
“Education is very important to the development of our youth who are the future of this nation. Unfortunately, financial constraints sometimes make this opportunity a scarce commodity. We are happy that we could empower young people to further their academic progress. They have our support and best wishes as they each sit the pivotal CXC exams.”
Students were selected based on financial need, good academic performance and participation in extra-curricular activities. In most cases, recipients were not readily able to meet the October 2014 payment deadline for the May/June 2015 CXC exams, hence, LASCO MoneyGram’s hearty contributions were very timely to address the need.
LASCO Financial Services is in the business of facilitating care for Jamaican families through fast, convenient and affordable remittance services. This is another way the company demonstrates commitment to the well-being of families.