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Thursday 3rd July 2014

St. John’s, Antigua (2 July 2014) - The International Women’s Club of Antigua and Barbuda and Scotiabank, are pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Scholarship Programme. Nine recipients including Zoie Whyte, Valdrinea Jackson, Claudette James Pharoah, Janessa Griffith, Francine James, Kaeiron Saunders, Kadine Gomes, Jewel Thomas and Desiree Antonio received a grand total of $40,400 gained through the IWC’s Golf for Education program held at Cedar Valley Golf Club in November last year.

Scotiabank’s Country Manager Mr. Gordon Julien, Mrs. Lorraine Perry, Eastern Caribbean Sales Manager and Mr. Pascal Hughes oversaw the festivities associated with the event, based on the bank’s overall objective to support women through educational development at the tertiary level.

“It is always a pleasure to be in the company of those who are making a real effort to better themselves. The women who are here surely embody the drive and focus of our Caribbean women. It is a determination that makes our whole society better, because as I’m sure you know, when you educate a woman, you educate a generation of. The benefits redound not only to that woman, but to her family and society.” He saluted the IWC for what he believes is ther “impactful work” and quoting W.E.B. Dubois says “it shows there is no force equal to a determined woman”.

Since 1986, the International Women’s Club has sought to both empower the women of Antigua and Barbuda, and highlight their achievements. “We have been proud to be their partner in this mission” says Julien, “and look forward to continuing our partnership with them. As my colleague at Scotiabank, Mrs. LorrainePerry will tell you that the IWC and Scotiabank have a lot in commonwhen it comes to the advancement of women. “It is actually a global priority for us at Scotiabank, and we work both internally at the bank and externally in our communities to create a workplace and society that allows women to use their talents to their best advantage.”

“You see,” says Lorraine Perry, “we share a common cause, and that is our dedication and passion towards advancing the cause of women. For us at Scotiabank, it’s not just philantropic, but an actual strategic priority which is outlined and advocated by our Achievement of Women initiative. These objectives are aligned with our Bright Future Programme that defines our commitment to our communities worldwide, and is overwhelmingly fueled by the passion of our 83,000 employees around the world. At the higest levels,” Mrs. Perry continues, “we have realized that creating a company culture that is encouraging to women, is key to remaining competitive.”

Desiree Antonio, has received scholarship grants for two successive years, and she is very grateful that it has come at a time when funds were very low, threatening her ability to continue on to Module 6 and 9 in her Education course. “We are truly grateful to IWC for continously giving to women in Antigua and Barbuda so that they can access tertiary education in Antigua and Barbuda. Our disciplines are diverse, and the assistance signals your commitment to help women by providing educational and economic opportunities. Nations value the ability of their brightest minds to create and use ideas and knowledge for economic, political, social and cultural gain,” says Antonio.

“We, in our various disciplines or areas of study, will aim to add value to our knowledge society in our country of Antigua and Barbuda in our efforts to contribute to nation building. I daresay, that as women in this part of the world, we are fortunate to have this freedom.”

Antonio points out that in some countries in the Middle East and in Africa, women are aggressively barred from seeking an education.

“We are fortunate that our freedom encourages women to reach to the highest levels of educational attainment,” exclaims Antonio. The IWC is one such organization that promotes this. I would just like to encourage my fellow scholarship recipients to endeavour to successfully complete our course of studies, no matter how difficult it many get.” She expressed heartfelt thanks to the members of the IWC and Scotiabank
who make their humanitarian efforts possible.

The IWC which begun in 1986 by a group of like-minded American women who came together to learn about Antigua, offer their help through fundraising. They decided in 1994 that the most important contribution they could make was towards education of Antiguan women of all ages. The IWC started by giving out 2 scholarships per year and started a fundraising auction to fund the programme. As fundraising increased, so did the amount they were able to give. Presently, over EC$40,000 a year has been raised and distributed. To date, the IWC has delivered over 150 scholarships and spent upwards of EC$700,000.

“We are very proud of that,” says Barbara Bauer, President at Large of the International Women’s Club of Antigua and Barbuda, recognizing that the group changed its name to IWC (from AWC) after agreeing that women from all countries could join in this quest for education al all Antigua women. “‘Our 9 recipients ages range from 20 to 49 years with scholarships awarded for subjects ranging from Pharmacy to Forensics. We are delighted to be here today to add you ladies to our list.”

“Don’t ever give up,” urges Scotiabank’s Lorraine Perry. “Don’t ever give in. Don’t ever stop trying. Don’t ever sell out. And if you find yourself succumbing to one of the above for a brief moment, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, whisper a prayer, and start where you left off. But never, ever, ever give up.”

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