1. Home
  2. News
  3. Press releases
  4. Transforming a community one student at a time

Transforming a community one student at a time

Release date:
30 October 2023

Over the past two decades, graduates of bpTT’s Brighter Prospects scholarship programme have been making their mark in the south-eastern community of Mayaro and environs.

This impact was highlighted when the Brighter Prospects scholarship programme marked the commencement of the 2023/24 semester with the intake of 37 new students being welcomed during an intimate ceremony hosted at the Mayaro Resource Centre on Thursday, 26 October 2023.
Brighter Prospects provides financial assistance to students from the region who gain access to tertiary education at approved institutions. Since 2003, it has facilitated more than 800 students in over 60 unique fields of study ranging from medicine, engineering and law to agriculture and education. Other than maintaining a proper academic standing, the only requirement is that recipients must engage in volunteerism activities that contribute to the upliftment of the area.

In attendance was bpTT’s president, David Campbell: “With my own daughter in university, I can relate to the demands on students in a dynamically changing global environment. For this year’s intake, I congratulate you on beginning this exciting stage of your life’s journey. If ever you are in doubt and need inspiration, however, look no further than the hundreds of your peers who made this journey and emerged successfully. They are continuing to transform this community and have created a pathway for you to follow and expand upon.”

“Over the years, Brighter Prospects graduates have emerged as leaders in your community, and I expect no less from you. I only ask one thing – just as your parents, teachers and we are investing in you, you need to invest in the continued growth and development of your community and country,” Campbell added.

Campbell noted that as part of bp’s new framework, the company is pursuing sustainability through three broad areas: Improving People’s Lives, Getting to Net Zero and Care for the Planet. He outlined one of the key aims of the business is to enable a ‘just transition’, where focus is placed on building skills required for the future and he emphasised the importance of creating stronger relationships with communities based on mutual trust and respect and through support for advancing human rights and education.

In exemplifying this aim, the Brighter Prospects event formed part of a broader series of community engagements over two days in Mayaro and Guayaguayare (26 & 27 October) in which the bpTT president met with various community stakeholders and organisations. These meetings inevitably brought Campbell into contact with dozens of Brighter Prospects graduates who now hold leadership positions across the community.

Included on this distinguished alumni list that met with the bpTT leadership team were three Local Government Councillors, several leaders of youth-based organisations, and various professionals including educators, energy-sector workers, and business owners that operate within the community.
One such Brighter Prospects alumni was attorney-at-law, Geeta Bridgemohan, who this year was part of the selection committee who inspired the new intake with her story, “My parents didn’t get the opportunity to pursue higher education, so when I was accepted to do law, they were immensely proud. They were also concerned about being able to finance my studies. Brighter Prospects took away that burden and allowed me to focus on achieving academic excellence. I graduated five years ago with the support of my parents, my lecturers and bpTT. Since then, I have built a legal practice while maintaining the practise of giving back to the upliftment of my community.” 

Brighter Prospects graduate, Chrissette Benjamin, chaired the event and noted that in the inaugural year of the programme, there were only three applicants. As a member of the Brighter Prospects Selection Committee, she explained that the programme now receives hundreds of applications annually.

In order to best serve the students, the scholarship programme is constantly being evaluated and expanded, as demonstrated by the introduction of a medical-focused scholarship and funding post-graduate studies. Beyond the financial assistance, the company also provides additional support such as academic guidance and motivational sessions. 

Reflecting on the proud legacy of the programme was part of the new intake, Bianca Lalla, who is pursuing an Associate Degree in Medical Laboratory Technology. “This scholarship relieves my family from a lot of financial worry, and that is a big hurdle out of my way. As part of my studies, I will have to intern at various medical facilities, and next semester I will be at the Sangre Grande Hospital. I’m proud to know that there are nurses and a doctor that graduated from Brighter Prospects working there and the district facility in Mayaro. This fact proves that if I apply myself, I can be another proud graduate, working and building a better community,” Lalla effused.