Education

Scholarship criteria change sees its first group of awardees

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(Scholarships winners 2018 – Front row, left to right: Lynsey Palmer, Khaya Bagley-Pearman, Zhiyah Woolfe, Eron Hill. Second row, left to right: Asha Bicarle, Alexandra Schweizer, Dori Caines, Imani Smith. Third row, left to right: Antoine Jones, Noah Brady-Soares, Mya Gibbons, Hannah Fletcher. Back row, left to right: Mykala Wilson, Maya Palacio, Samai Seon, Isaiah Rikards)

Bank of Bermuda Foundation, anindependent, philanthropic organisation, is dedicated to supporting the Bermuda community. Annually, the Foundation provides approximately $2.5 million in grants to a wide range of non-profit groups in Bermuda and up to $950,000 in student scholarships.

Following two years of strategic planning from 2014 to 2016, Bank of Bermuda Foundation identified the need to evolve from being a charitable to a philanthropic organisation, shifting from addressing short-term, immediate needs (i.e. relieving the symptoms of social issues) to having a longer term, more collaborative and sustainable approach to solving problems to address the root causes of social issues.

In 2018, as part of this shift, the Foundation redefined its eligibility criteria for its annual scholarships by placing a priority on financial need in addition to academic merit. All scholarship applicants must now demonstrate financial need by completing the family Statement of Means form. Financial need is based on a family’s ability to pay for post-secondary education. Evidence of strong academics and potential for success remain key requirements for eligibility. The Statement of Means form is available on the Foundation’s website.

This commitment reflects the Foundation’s vision that there are equitable opportunities for all, to lead purposeful lives, have financial security and enjoy a sense of belonging within the community. The Foundation is proud to continue its tradition of offering substantial scholarships to Bermudian students, with a new focus on supporting those who face obstacles due to finances.’

Mr. Dennis Tucker, Chair of the Scholarships Committee, explained, “The Foundation wanted their scholarships to be available to students who had the ability to achieve their goals and were in the most need of financial assistance, giving every student an opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential academically.”

The Foundation has also significantly broadened the scope of offerings to include scholarships for the arts, vocational studies (trades, technicians or hospitality) and public school students, in addition to its standard awards for business, postgraduate, medicine, law and other courses of study.

He added”‘Having completed our first year under the new criteria, we were very pleased with all of the applicants. The change gave the Scholarships Committee a broader base of students from which to choose. We continue to be impressed with the quality and commitment of those applying and know Bermuda will benefit immensely from their scholastic endeavors.”

Applicants are reminded that scholarship applications are due by March 31stof each year. Scholarship funds are intended for the costs of tuition, room and board and travel to and from the place of study. Scholarships are tenable at accredited institutions of higher education approved by Bank of Bermuda Foundation and are granted at the discretion of the Scholarships Committee. For further details on eligibility requirements and to apply, please visit www.bermudascholarships.com.

This article was originally published in the 2019 edition of the RG Scholarship Directory.

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