BPTT energises Mayaro’s ‘Brighter Prospects’

November 15, 2013

SOME 107 tertiary level students from Mayaro and environs basked in an atmosphere of inspiration last Saturday as they built confidence for the way forward at the cheque distribution ceremony of BP Trinidad and Tobago’s Brighter Prospects scholarship programme.

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the Brighter Prospects initiative offers scholarships to tertiary level students from the wider Mayaro region up to a value of $10,000. To date, the programme has facilitated more than 300 students in post-secondary education and has produced more than 100 successful graduates. The programme has been expanded this year with the intake of 33 new students.

Scholarship recipient, Jamal Blake, of Guayaguayare, is pursuing a BSc. Degree in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. “I have been given an opportunity to achieve my full potential and I intend to do just that. I am also empowered by the challenge that ‘to whom much is given, much is expected’, and I fully intend to give back to my community and become an example for other young people to follow. Without a doubt, I am proud to be a Brighter Prospect,” said a grateful Blake.

Underscoring the programme’s importance was Ronda Francis, Corporate Responsibility Manager, bpTT: “Brighter Prospects has been a very significant investment in the development of the people of Mayaro over the past decade, and today’s disbursements to the current enrolled students amount to just over 
$1 million. It goes beyond finances as we’ve opened a world of opportunity to these ambitious young people. With their progress comes the upliftment of their home communities. From the transformation we’ve been seeing over the years, these young pioneers really are brightening the prospects for Mayaro.” 

The programme is constantly refined to make it more relevant to the specific needs of students. In order to achieve this objective, bpTT maintains contact with them through several mechanisms, including a Brighter Prospects Facebook page and the energy company also offers academic guidance to help students maintain good grades.
   
The programme supports diverse courses of study at a number of institutions, including the University of the West Indies, the University of Trinidad and Tobago, the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago, the Trinidad and Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute and Metal Industries Company. Participants are expected to ‘give back’ and contribute to the development of Mayaro, including volunteerism in community-based programmes.

Saturday’s cheque distribution programme featured an inspiring presentation from motivational speaker Don La Foucade. “I want you all to reach for the greatness inside of you and bring it into reality. The future is in your hands and you can each become the change you want to see in Mayaro,” he urged the students.

A seven member committee, comprising leaders from the south-eastern region and bpTT, is responsible for administration of the programme including screening candidates and coordinating volunteerism activities. 

According to the committee’s Chairman, Wendell Perez, “This programme has opened doors as it drastically reduces cost barriers such as rent, transport and books. This relief allows students to focus their attention on academics and their excellent results testify to this. Brighter Prospects is helping Mayaro to become a model community by energising our young people and future leaders to achieve success.”