brighter prospects grad2019
Delivering the feature address, Rushton Paray, Member of Parliament for Mayaro, challenged the students to help transform their communities: “I want to congratulate each and every one of you on your successes, which are a result of your hard work and determination. But even as one journey has ended, a new one is beginning. I encourage you to use your knowledge and skills and come up with ideas that will both create new business opportunities while helping to develop our nation. You are all Brighter Prospects, which means that you have a responsibility to help create a better future.”
“This programme is yet another excellent initiative by BPTT and they have done great work in our community, having invested in areas such as education, sports, enterprise development and arts and culture. We owe them our gratitude for creating these opportunities that encourage our young people to achieve their best and take Mayaro closer to achieving its full potential,” Paray told the graduating class.
Open to residents of Mayaro and environs, Brighter Prospects is one of BPTT’s flagship programmes in its suite of social investment initiatives. Started in 2003, the programme provides financial assistance to students who gain access to tertiary education at approved institutions. The programme has fostered over 600 successful graduates since its inception. Beyond the financial assistance, the company provides additional support such as academic guidance, motivational sessions and secures internship placements for its scholars who also commit to BPTT’s volunteerism efforts.
Sharing words of encouragement was Joel Primus, Community Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations Advisor, BPTT. “Even as we celebrate, I want you all to take a moment and reflect on your journey to this moment. I want you to focus especially on the people who believed in you and supported you at every juncture including your parents, teachers and peers. Your commitment to fulfil your purpose brought you here and now you have a commitment to yourself, your community, your country and the world itself. You represent the best of Mayaro and you embody the values that define and uphold our society. There will always be a brighter day and a brighter future as long as you continue to fulfil your destiny. This is what makes you all Brighter Prospects and we believe in you,” Primus exhorted.
Brighter Prospects covers a wide range of tertiary education studies, such as information technology, engineering, agriculture, social sciences and medicine, with at least four medical doctors having graduated from the programme thus far. It is constantly evolving to better serve the needs of the students and was expanded to incorporate A-Level students as well as the addition of funding for post-graduate studies which started in 2013. In 2014, BPTT also started an internship programme that provided Brighter Prospects students with invaluable work experience during the July-August vacation.
Expressing the collective gratitude of the graduates was valedictorian Shyan Williams, who completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Trinidad and Tobago. “It is an honour to know that BPTT believed in us and invested in us. Now it is up to us to invest in future students, invest in our communities and invest in the development of Trinidad and Tobago. We have overcome the challenges, including the sleepless nights and stressful examinations, but there are greater challenges we must face. But right now, thanks to BPTT, we get to celebrate in this graduation ceremony and Aristotle spoke the truth when he said ‘The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.’ It really feels great to be a Brighter Prospects graduate,” Williams effused.
Motivational speaker, Najja Forbes, lifted the spirits of the graduates with the revelation of his struggles growing up and the fact that he overcame them to achieve success. He encouraged the Brighter Prospects alumni to “hold on to your values, work hard to achieve your dreams and never allow yourself to settle in a comfort zone.”
The graduates were also congratulated by other community stakeholders including Percival Puckerin, Chairman of the Mayaro/Rio Claro Education Committee; Matthew Pierre, Community Liaison Officer, BPTT; and Kerneisha Prince-King, Manager of the BPTT Mayaro Resource Centre. Past graduate, Brett Phillip, who is now a teacher, wowed the audience with his soulful rendition of Chronixx’s ‘I Can’ on the steelpan.
For Natisha Barker, who graduated from the General Nursing programme at the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago, it was a life-changing experience. “The assistance provided by BPTT really helped to take away a lot of the additional stresses that can distract from achieving your best academically. They helped me to achieve my full potential and my goals and I will always be grateful for that. As I become a nursing practitioner, I want to help create a healthier nation and give back in any way that I can. That is what being a Brighter Prospects student means.”