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Presentations At JEPA Banquet To Honour Community Stalwarts, April 18, 2010, Fort Lauderdale

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Jennifer Daianna N. Day, a college freshman at Miami Dade College was the recipient of the annual scholarship from the members of the Jamaica Ex-Police Association of South Florida (JEPA) at their annual scholarship banquet, last Saturday (Apr. 18), held at the Grand Ballroom in Fort Lauderdale.

Miss Day, a Haitian national, began classes at the College last Fall semester, and is currently pursuing subjects for a profession in medicine. With a busy class schedule, Miss Day manages to maintain a 4.0 grade point average (GPA) while studying English as a Second Language (ESL) and also working as a volunteer at the 1550-bed Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

The college freshman proved the ideal candidate for the scholarship programme was now in its eighth year, because of her excellent academic grades and her case of financial need and misfortune suffered by her family during the devastation following the recent earthquake devastation in Haiti.   

Expressing gratitude to the JEPA members, she described her award as “a blessing and a gift”.  With determination, she explained that she was not allowing those circumstances to stand in her way to academic success. “I will use the scholarship to purchase much needed books” she told JIS News.

Although she has never visited the island, Miss Day has made some friends with Jamaican peers, whom she described as supportive and encouraging to her on campus.  She was enthusiastic and hopeful about one day, making a trip to the island.  Meanwhile, she was grateful to the Diasporic community for all the assistance given to Haitians in the face of the recent disaster.

As she continues to assiduously pursue her academic goal, Miss Day expressed the desire to return to her homeland on completion of her studies to help those in need.

Three Jamaican nationals were recipients of the President’s Award for their outstanding service, dedication and commitment to the community over the years.  The awardees included the Hon. Hazelle Rogers, State Representative in the Florida House of Representatives; Mrs. Kaye Chong, Community Relations Manager, Air Jamaica Limited; and Ms. Vana Taylor, Managing Director of Sunflower Resort and Villas in Ocho Rios.

Simultaneously, the Association honoured three members who have dedicated their efforts to the development of the organization, namely Bevon Earle, Radcliffe Guy and Samuel Bryan.

Marlon Hill, Jamaica’s Diaspora Advisory Board member to the Southern United States gave a brief address exhorting his audience to take responsibility and help to shape policy in Jamaica especially as it related to corruption and security.  “Every Jamaican living overseas is a part of the Diaspora and must therefore become personally engaged in making your voices be heard,” he reiterated.

As preparations were now in place for the upcoming biennial National Diaspora Conference to be held in June in Jamaica, Mr. Hill also encouraged nationals to become engaged in the process of discussions for setting an agenda that would benefit Jamaica’s economic development.

Jamaica’s Consul General, Sandra Grant Griffiths also lauded the membership of the Jamaica Ex Police Association for “their significant role as special community leaders, faithful sponsoring partners and conscientious individuals” here in the Diaspora as well as in their missions to Jamaica providing assistance in refurbishing of police stations across the island.

The South Florida chapter of the Jamaica Ex-Police Association comprises a team of more than 50 members who have for the last ten years have provided assistance for the welfare of present and former officers of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, as well as assisting in projects benefitting the local communities in the Diaspora and in Jamaica through active public service.

Other chapters are also active in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

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Written by Staff Writer