Western Union expands educational programs

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payment services, announced the expansion of its educational programs for Caribbean-born or second generation of Caribbean Americans residing in the United States by pledging US$50,000 through the Western Union Foundation in educational scholarships and extending the program from nine to 19 Caribbean countries.

The commitment was announced in Brooklyn as Western Union and GraceKennedy Limited kicked off their first annual town hall meeting series at Medgar Evers College on May 4.

Staged under the theme “Caribbean Diaspora – Borderless Possibilities,” and featuring as keynote speaker, former Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honourable P.J. Patterson, the event was the first in a series of three town hall stops. The meeting series is intended to connect the Caribbean diasporas in the United States and Canada with their home countries, while providing them with an opportunity to actively discuss issues relating to the diaspora and its advancement. The second event took place in Toronto at the CBC Atrium and the last event was held at the Miramar Cultural Centre in Miramar, Florida on May 8.

During the event which brought together hundreds of members of the Caribbean community, Western Union and GraceKennedy explained the details of their educational programmes for diaspora youth: the ‘Pride of the Caribbean’ and the ‘GraceKennedy Birthright’ Programmes.

“As Caribbean families pursue their educational dreams, the sheer cost continues to be a barrier, especially for those who are unable to meet the criteria for federal loans. As an expression of gratitude for the continued support of our Caribbean customers, several Western Union Agents throughout the Caribbean have donated to The Western Union Foundation Gift Match Program in support of the Pride of the Caribbean Programme. Our goal is to elevate our outstanding future leaders as members of the Caribbean community,” said Sean Mason, regional vice president & general manager, Western Union Caribbean.

“If you or someone you know qualifies for the 2015 Pride of the Caribbean Scholarship Program, we encourage them to visit www.PrideoftheCaribbean.com to review eligibility requirements and apply directly until June 3,” Mason said.

The Western Union Company and GraceKennedy Town Hall forum, which was initiated in 2012, provides a platform for vital dialogue on topics relevant to the Caribbean Diaspora such as youth, education and the economy. The series also focus on the importance of education, urging parents to expose their children to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), as well as emphasizing the importance of mastering the English language as a key factor to success.

More from Around NYC