Jamaica’s Minister of Education, Youth & Information Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid has lauded the work of the non-profit organization COJO in investing in the nation’s children. Speaking at the 24th Annual Scholarship Gala of the New York based Jamaican charity, Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO) Inc., the Education Minister commended the organization for its role in making children a top priority which is in keeping with Government’s commitment to ensuring that Jamaica produces a well-educated population that will continue to lift standards and overtime, develop a first world country.
Since 2012, COJO has presented scholarships to deserving wards of the state in Jamaica totaling over JMD 15 million dollars. The Education Minister noted that while this is not US dollars, it is still a lot and most importantly, it provides an opportunity for the recipients to uplift themselves, tap into their inner talents and excel as leaders in their chosen field.
In 2018, the organization presented scholarships to deserving state wards totaling more than US$25,000, adding that this is quite commendable. He thanked COJO’s Founder Gary Williams for his commitment to the cause of underserved children in Jamaica and welcomed the support of other donors within the Diaspora which have contributed not only to education but in the areas of health or by way of their alma mater.
Among the honorees this year were Paul Salmon, who was presented with the COJO Humanitarian Award. Rounding out the honorees were Dr. Michael A. Wiltshire, recipient of the COJO Distinguished Service Award; GopalJ M. Burgher, who received the COJO Visionary Award; and Feurtado Shipping, which was presented with the COJO Corporate Service Award.
This year, for the first time the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), formerly, Child Development Agency, which has been a beneficiary of the funds raised by COJO over the years participated in the event. CEO Rosalee Gage-Grey thanked COJO for its contribution to the renamed CPFSA, noting that its over two decades of support is invaluable and appreciated. Also in attendance was 2018 COJO Scholarship recipient Adrianna Parchment, currently a student at the University of Technology where she is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Computer Science. She received US$5,000 towards her tuition.
Entertainment for the gala event was provided by Chevaughn and Tropical Rhythms, who entertained guests during the cocktail hour, with music by Empea Entertainment.
A number of corporate entities including JetBlue donated airline tickets as raffle prizes with Half Moon and Round Hill donating vacation packages for the silent auction. Proceeds from this major fundraiser are used to provide scholarships and support for deserving students as well as Jamaican child care institutions in need.
About Children of Jamaica Outreach
Children of Jamaica Outreach COJO Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in New York and is registered with the New York City Bureau of Charities. The brainchild of Jamaican-born American Gary Williams, COJO’s mission is to help improve the health, education and general well being of less fortunate children.
Since inception in 1994, COJO has dedicated its resources, human and financial, to help make a difference in the lives of underserved children in Jamaica as well as the United States of America. For further information about COJO including sponsorship opportunities, visit www.cojokids.org.